"*o ' 11 "3 :x3r^8& : - ' im / / FROM THE LIBRARY OF REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON, D. D. BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO THE LIBRARY OF PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY tfrifkrt ^C B _£ Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2013 http://archive.org/details/staritOOcond *T&mjc> the 3 1933 STAR IN THE El^T; OTHER POEMS. / BY JOSIAH CONDER. LONDON : PRINTED FOR TAYLOR AND HESSEY, 93, FLEET-STREET; AND 13, WATERLOO-PLACE, TALL-MALL. 1824. LONDON : PiilNTED BY THOMAS DAVISON. WHITEFRIARS. TO EBENEZER MAITLAND, ESQ. OF CLAPHAM, COUNTY OF SURREY, THIS LITTLE VOLUME I*, WITH SENTIMENTS OF GRATEFUL VENERATION, INSCRIBED BY JOSIAH CONDER. PKEFACE. From the date affixed to many of these poems, it will be perceived that the contents of this little volume are the casual production of leisure hours, during the last twelve years. Some few of them have, at intervals, found their way into print; and the natural wish to reclaim these fugitives, and to establish the fact of their parentage, has partly dictated the present pub- lication. There was a period when, with all the ambition of Eighteen, I aspired to the fame of a poet ; and I once entertained the hope of producing a work, that might more worthily repay the public for the favour shown to an anonymous volume*, the joint production of a * u The Associate Minstrels." l2mo. London, 1810 and 1812. a 3 VI PREFACE. knot of youthful associates, which contains my earliest effusions. But my pursuits have been determined in other directions ; and poetry has long ceased to be with me more than a record of feeling, and a source of quiet enjoyment. " The Star in the East" is, to the extent of about ninety lines, a republication of a poem, published in 1812, under the ill-chosen title, " Gloria in Excehis Deo" The British Critic was, with one exception, the only journal which did me the honour of noticing it, and the un- known Reviewer shewed both his judgement and his kindness in selecting one of the few passages which I have felt anxious to rescue. The poem is but little known, the greater part of the im- pression having been given away ; but I have thought it necessary to guard myself against the charge of plagiarism from any other writer than myself. The Psalms in this volume are an attempt to give a metrical form to some of those sacred PREFACE. Vll compositions, with as little deviation as possible from the letter, but more especially from the spirit of the text, as given by the best trans- lators. They are not all adapted to our singing metres, because my object has not been to fur- nish hymns for public worship, so much as to do what justice I could to the specific character of the particular psalm ; which, in the attempt to accommodate them indiscriminately to psalmody, has, I think, too generally been lost sight of. Some (as, for instance, the Second Psalm, and others of a prophetical nature) do not appear to me applicable, without violence, to such a purpose. The omission of Psalms xxxiv. and cxlv. in Mr. Montgomery's " Songs of Zion," first suggested the experiment. But our object has been so different, that I trust I shall not be thought to have ventured upon any unequal competition. " The Reverie" was given in the second edition of " The Associate Minstrels ;" but, as Vlll PREFACE. that publication has been for some time out of print, and many imperfect copies of the poem have been circulated in manuscript, I hope I shall be excused for inserting it among the Sacred Poems in this volume. I am bound to confess that some few of these productions (including one which was inserted in an early volume of the Edinburgh Annual Register, with the signature E.) are not my own. But it was made the condition of their appear- ing, that they should meet the public eye under the protection of that name, for which their author has been content to resign her own. London, Nov. I, 1823. CONTENTS. The Star in the East Notes to the Star in the East Page 1 . 21 SACRED POEMS. Psalm ii. 31 Psalm xxin. 32 Psalm xxxiv. 34 Psalm lxvii. 37 Psalm l xxxiv. 39 Psalm xcvi. 42 Psalm cxxiv. 44 Psalm cxlv. 45 Psalm cxlviii. 48 The Lord is King 50 Oh, how shall feeble flesh and blood 53 They whom the Father giveth -54 For the Eucharist . . . . . 57 Doxology ..... 58 If all the world abhor us 59 The Poor Man's Hymn . 60 How shall I follow Him I serve 62 Oh, when will smilin gmoi n 65 X CONTENTS. Page When, in the hour of lonely woe 68 Lord ! whate'er in mortal eyes 70 O thou God who nearest prayer . . . • .72 A Thought on the Sea-shore 74 The Comet 76 Monody on the Death of H. K. White ■ • • * 79 Reply to Stanzas by H. K. White 82 To the Memory of a Young Lady 83 The Reverie 86 DOMESTIC POEMS. Proem .......... 96 Thou Lady dear, for whom I wake the string • • • 97 Home 101 On leaving B********. 104 With thee amid the wild recesses • • • • -107 Absence 110 On the Death of an Infant Son 113 Sonnet — Here rest, my Love 115 ToE. R. C. 116 On the Birth of a Son -118 To a Sister, on her Birthday . • • • .121 To the Same, on Recovery from Illness • • • .124 To a Sister, with a Bible 126 To Louisa 128 To Mrs. S. R.W 130 To Mrs. Turner, Bermuda 133 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. The Voice of the Oak ... ... 139 CONTEXTS. XI Sonnet i. Two Voices are there .... Sonnet II. It is a false theology that says Sonnet III. A green and flowery slope Sonnet iv. There's beauty, motion, music in the stream Sonnet v. Unknown, yet well remember'd Sonnet vi. 'Tis from the Lord, the humbled monarch cried To an Eolian Harp, heard at Night Spring : in Four Sonnets Evening Sketch .... To the Nightingale Summer : in Four Sonnets Song, — How lightly, fleetly glide away Autumn : in Four Sonnets Song, — "Twas not when early flowers were Love, Hope, and Fancy Song, — Hope away ! Song, — Woman, dear woman ! Song, — O give me back . Song, — O spare me not Song, — Throw, Father Time, thy hour-glass by Song, — With hopes once fondly cherishM On the Birth of F. R. C. To the Memory of Edward Powell, Esq. . springing Page 14G 147 148 149 150 151 152 154 157 161 167 171 173 176 178 182 184 185 186 1ST 189 191 1 9 ] ERRATA. Page 46, line 5 from bottom^r Through all, read Throughout. 65, line 5, for beam, read gleam. THE STAR IN THE EAST. ARGUMENT. Song of the Angels at our Lord's Advent. — Massacre of the Inno- cents. — Destruction of Jerusalem. — Modern Jerusalem. — Pre- dicted Restoration of the Jews. — Apostrophe to England as the chief Evangelist of the Nations. — Spread of Christianity in India. — In Persia. — In China. — In Polynesia. — In Greenland. — North American Indians. — Sierra Leone. — Central Africa. — Apostrophe to the Star of Bethlehem. — The Scriptures. — Progress of Knowledge — Signs of the Times. STAR IN THE EAST. O to have heard the unearthly symphonies, Which o'er the starlight peace of Syrian skies Came floating like a dream, that blessed night When angel songs were heard by sinful men, Hymning Messiah's advent ! O to have watch'd That night with those poor shepherds, whom, when first The glory of the Lord shed sudden day, — Day without dawn, starting from midnight, day Brighter than morning, — on those lonely hills, Strange fear surprised — fear lost in wondering joy, When from the angelic multitude swell'd forth The many-voiced consonance of praise : — b 2 4 THE STAR IN THE EAST. Glory in the highest to God, and upon earth Peace: towards men good- will. But once before In such glad strains of joyous fellowship, The silent earth was greeted by the heavens, When at its first foundation they looVd down From their bright orbs, those heavenly ministries, Hailing the new-born world with bursts of joy. Not long the vision tarried : died away The wondrous music on the charmed ear Of those few peasants. Morn returning found No footstep on her solitary hills Of angel visitant, — all closed the scene Of that bless'd pageantry to mortal gaze. Far other sounds than voices jubilant, Bethlehem, thy streets sent forth, when the fierce king, Searching his infant rival, foully slew Thy innocent babes, and Rachel from her tomb Groan'd for her offspring. Not the less, e'en then, THE STAR IN THE EAST. O Angels unseen thy hallow'd precincts watch'd, And from the assassin's arm bore tenderly ( Upward each ransom'd spirit — for of such The heavenly kingdom. These but died for Him Who died for all — most honour'd in their death, And bless'd. Thus angels joy when mortals weep. City of David ! Thou art desecrate ; And fall'n Jerusalem sits captive now In dust and darkness. Every holy one Has long forsaken the polluted land. Where stood the Cross, the avenger's ensign waved : The Roman came, and thy proud temple fell. The Pagan brought his idols : these displaced, The mumming priests usurp'd the christen'd fane, a Witli stores of relics, crosses, holy wares, And venal pardons; till the Saracen Came in his might, with zeal iconoclast, And swept away the unhallow'd trumpery. Now — for the honour of the Prince of Peace— THE STAR IN THE EAST. Europe pours forth her motley Christian hordes, Frenzied with demon zeal, to plant anew The red-cross banner on the guilty soil Again the nameless horrors of the siege Were acted o'er. b The conqueror blush'd to take His golden crown, yet not refused the name, King of Jerusalem. Brief the boast profane. Again the crescent triumph'd. Palestine Shook back into the sea the leaguer' d hosts Of arm'd apostles, churchmen militant. Then domes and minarets, with convent towers, Again commingling rose. Then pilgrims came Crouching to Turkish lords, and rival sects Bargain'd and quarrell'd for the sepulchre/ Ineffable disgrace ! Loathsome abuse Of names and things most holy! Trodden down By all in turn, Pagan, and Frank, and Tartar, — So runs the dread anathema, — trodden down Beneath the oppressor; darkness shrouding thee From every blessed influence of heaven ; THE STAR IN THE EAST- / Thus hast thou lain for ages, iron-bound As with a curse. Thus art thou doom'd to lie : Yet not for ever. Mightiest Lord ! how long — How long, ere prophecy's dark veil withdrawn, Shall shew consummated thy wondrous schemes Of deepest wisdom ?— ere, the times fulfill'd, Jerusalem shall rise, and break her yoke Of bondage, shaking off her loathed weeds, And call her scatter'd sons from every clime To be again a nation ? — when the crescent Shall wane, and fade, and vanish ; and the troops Of demon shadows, as their altar fires Grow pale, shall shuddering flee the golden dawn ? O England ! O my country ! high and holy Is thy prerogative : the foremost thou To lead thy sons forth to the help of Heaven Against the mighty : holy this crusade, 8 THE STAR IN THE EAST. And waged with holier weapons. Thou secure Hast risen, like the ark, upon the waves That swept away the empires. Europe views, With hope-sick heart, upon thy towering cliffs, The sunshine resting which to her hath set. Thee grateful Afric worships, hailing thee Redeemer of her sons. Thy dreaded power Poor crouching India owns. When shall she learn To bless thy name ? Thou, in the darkened East, Hast risen in blood-red lustre. But e'en now, As higher thou art seen, purging thyself From that portentous hue, thy purer light Begins to shed a more benignant ray. O England ! high thy office ! Thou art named Chosen Evangelist of nations ! Send, O send thy Careys and thy Martyns forth, Thy living Bibles to the pagan world; And sound through every realm that trump of God Which bursts the bands of moral death, and bids The dry bones take the shape of man, and live. THE STAR IX THE EAST. y There was a nation — whisper not its name — Lords of the realm through which old Ganges rolls Her guilty stream,, land populous with gods, Olympus of the East : those Christian lords, Great Juggernaut's copartners, shared the gains Of his lewd triumphs, winking at the cheat. e Yea, and at Doorga feasts, the Christian fair Did graceful homage to the mis-shaped gods, And pledged the cup of demons/ Then we heard, To veil their shame, of Hindoo innocence : — Meek, simple, virtuous, mild idolaters, They needed not to learn the Christians' faith. Witness the dire suttee, the corse-strewn plain, Where vultures track the abominable car Of blood-stain'd lewdness. Eear thou witness too, River of hell, whose deadly baptism stains E'en to the soul its victim.? Witness ye Dark sanctuaries, whence shrieks, with laugh obscene Commingling, speak the worship and the god. O righteous sword of Mahomed, which gave B 5 1 THE STAR IN THE EAST. The shaven crowns of those infernal priests To their own goddess, a meet sacrifice, — Fresh beads for Kali's necklace. 11 Not with sword Or spear of earthly temper, sainted Ward, Didst thou, with thy heroic compeers, take The field, and patiently sit down before The thrice-entrenched Pandemonium Of central Ind. Slowly, by sap and mine, The painful siege proceeds; and many an arm Must fail, and many a martyr wreath be won, Until at length the powers of hell shall yield ; And He whose right it is, shall enter in To reign. Lift up your heads, ye fortress gates ! Ye long-closed barriers of the East, give way ! Land of the Sun, once thy fond idol ! Land Of rose-gardens, where aye the bulbul sings His most voluptuous song ! Thou mother-land And cradle of the nations ! Land of Cyrus ! (Shall e'er a second Cyrus spring from thee?) THE STAR IN THE EAST. ] 1 Thy palaces have heard a heavenly voice : A prophet's feet have trod thy burning soil : A a man of God" has left his name with thee. Thy sage Mollahs, say, have they yet resolv'd The Christian's knotty interrogatives ? i Go, send for aid to Mecca. Ha ! the Arab ! The Wahabite is there ! The Caliphate, Shrunk to the shadow of a name, survives But in thy Othman rival, who e'en now Sees Egypt lost, and quails before the Greek. k Rouse thee ! shake off the trammels of a creed Forged to enslave thee. From thy Soofish dreanib Awake to manlier life ; and, if thou canst, Call up thy ancient Magi from their rest, To lead thee to His rising, who returns To gladden thee, with healing in his beams, — The Sun whom thou mayst worship. Thy Euphrates Shall fiee his ancient channel, to prepare A passage for the monarchs of the East. 1 12 THE STAR IN THE EAST. And thou, u Celestial Empire \" teeming hive Of millions ! vast impenetrable realm ! The hour is writ in heaven, thy yellow sons Shall bow at the holy name, and woman there Relent into the mother. m Human loves And softest charities shall in the train Of heavenly faith attend. Thy wondrous wall Is scaled, thy mystic tongue deciphered now. n Where, in the furthest deserts of the deep, The coral-worm its architecture vast Uprears, and new-made islands have their birth, The Paphian Venus, driven from the West, In Polynesian groves long undisturb'd Her shameful rites and orgies foul maintain'd. The wandering voyager at Taheite found Another Daphne. On his startled ear, What unaccustom'd sounds come from those shores, Charming the lone Pacific ? Not the shouts THE STAR IN THE EAST. 13 Of war, nor maddening songs of Bacchanals; Hut, from the rude Morai, the full- toned psalm Of Christian praise. A moral miracle ! Taheite now enjoys the gladdening smile Of sabbaths. ° Savage dialects, unheard At Babel, or at Jewish Pentecost, Xow first articulate divinest sounds, And swell the universal Amen. Now, Nature's forlornest children, they who haunt Her icy frontiers, on humanity's Extremest verge, leading amphibious life 'Mid polar glooms; — e'en they on Greenland's coast, And horrid Labrador, have learn'd the sound Of heavenly tidings. Self-denying men Alike the scorching line and freezing pole P Have dared, to bear the message of their God To all the scatter'd fragments of our race. True soldiers of the Cross ! well worthy ye 14 THE STAR IN THE EAST. To join the martyr choir, who even now Await in bliss their amaranthine crowns. In milder latitudes the red man roves, Where vast Missouri gathers in his course A thousand streams. Noblest of savages, In war not quite a demon, and in peace Nought less than man, the Arab of the West ; — In him, yet unextinct, a faint remain Of Nature's primal creed, like a sick lamp Struggling with noxious darkness, strangely gleams. He nor to Brahma, Budh, nor Jupiter, Falls down ; but, with sublimer faith than erst Peopled Olympus with vile deities, Feels the Invisible, invokes his name — " Giver of Life 1" and calls his Maker good. q When shall these scattered flocks be gather'd home From the recesses of the wilderness, At the Good Shepherd's voice? When, in one fold, Couch with the lamb, the lion ? Runs not so THE STAR IN THE EAST. 15 The promise of the oracle ? Oh, then The white man shall forgive the Indian's hue, And the Great Spirit, looking* down, behold His children form one peaceful family. It spreads ! It spreads ! the tidings of relief To suffering Nature. — In those guilty isles, Where men grow rich with crime, distilling sweets From human veins, and marketing in blood, — The slave, amid his toils, catches the sound, And deems his yoke press lighter ; hears how Christ Died e'en for him, and feels himself a man. Thou Moloch wealth ! what sable hecatombs Of human victims on thine altars groan ! What marvel then if riches crow in hell? r But brighter days on western Afric dawn : The long-lost seed, with tears and patience sown, At length has pierced the parch'd and hungry soil ; And the Sierra smiles a Christian land. s 16 THE ST All IN THE EAST. Not long in enigmatic mystery- Shall Niger roll his stream,, nor Nilus keep The secret of his source. Those central glooms, Dark 'mid the glare of fiery noon, where basks The serpent, and the sovereign lion roams, Barbaric realms, to which, from Atlas top, Th' arch-foe might point exultant, and repeat His impious boast, Mine are they all ! l — for there Evil is throned and worshipp'd, — even there Shall penetrate the voice that demons flee. Press'd in on every side, Idolatry Shall see her fetish spells o'ermaster'd — see Her bestial symbols chased back to their dens,u Till, in his very citadel, the Power Of Darkness to the meek Redeemer yield. O Star ! the most august of all that clasp The star-girt heav'n, which erst in eastern skies Didst herald, like the light of prophecy, The Sun of Righteousness, — the harbinger THE STAR IX THE EAST. 1 7 Of more than natural day ; whether thou track The circuit of the universe, or thrid, As with a golden clew, the labyrinth Of suns and systems, still from age to age Auguring to distant spheres some glorious doom; Sure thou thy blessed circle hast well nigh Described, and in the majesty of light, Bending on thy return, wilt soon announce His second advent. Yes, even now thy beams Suffuse the twilight of the nations. Light Wakes in the region where gross darkness veil'd The people. They who in death's shadow sat, Shall hail that glorious rising; for the shade Prophetic shrinks before the dawning ray That cast it : forms of earth that interposed, Shall vanish, scatter'd like the dusky clouds Before the exultant morn ; and central day All shadowless, even to the poles shall reign. Volume of God ! thou art that eastern Star 1 8 THE STAR IN THE EAST. Which leads to Christ. Soon shall thy circuit reach Round earth's circumference, in every tongue Revealing to all nations, what the heavens But shadow forth, the glory of the Lord. And are there those, the wisdom of this world, Who, in base fear and blind astronomy, With astrolabe or quadrant watch thy path, Suspicious of thine aspect, save when seen In certain fair conjunctions, and in nodes Ideal; who would dare restrict thy light To time and rule ? O foul astrology ! Roll on ; free, boundless be thy beauteous course ! Roll on, and turn those angry clouds to light ! Vain, vain the despot's frown, the bigot's rage ! The gates of knowledge, that for ages slept Upon their massive hinges, while a few, By stealth or fee, through the low portal crept, Where jealous Power was sentineled, — those gates THE STAR IN THE EAST. 19 At length have yielded,, and the joyous poor Crowd eager through the wondrous avenue. Oh, throw them wider still : the infant race Shall learn to lisp Hosanna on their way. Who would not be a Christian ? Who but now Would share the Christian's triumph and his hope ? His triumph is begun. 'Tis his to hail, Amid the chaos of a world convulsed, A new creation rising. 'Mid the gloom Which wraps the low concerns of states and kings He marks the morning star, sees the far East Blush with the purple dawn ; he hears a trump, Louder than all the clarions and the clang Of horrid war, swelling, and swelling still, In lengthening notes, its all-awakening call, — The trump of Jubilee. Are there not signs, Thunders, and voices in the troubled air ? Do ye not see, upon the mountain tops, Beacon to beacon answering ? Who can tell 20 THE STAR IN THE EAST. But all the harsh and dissonant sounds which long- Have been — are still — disquieting the earth, Are but the tuning- of the varying parts For the grand chorus which shall usher in The hastening triumph of the Prince of Peace I Yes ; His shall be the kingdoms. He shall come, Ye scoffers at his tarrying. Hear ye not E'en now the thunder of his wheels? Awake, Thou slumbering world ! E'en now the symphonies Of that blest song are floating through the air, Peace, peace on earth, and glory be to God. NOTES THE STAR IN THE EAST. a Page 5. The mumming priests usurp' d the christen d fane. " Either from design or accident, a chapel was dedicated to Venus on the spot which had been sanctified by the death and resurrection of Christ." Gibbon's Decline and Fall, c. 23. Dio Cassius affirms, that in the place where the temple of God had been, Adrian erected one to Jupiter. On the site of these pagan temples Christian churches were subsequently erected. But, in many instances, the edifice was left standing, and appropriated to the purpose of Christian worship. b Page 6. Again the nameless horrors of the siege Were acted o'er. When the ill-fated city was at length taken by storm, the carnage exceeded all description. The " pious" Godfrey, on en- tering it, set the example of avenging upon the helpless Saracens the Christian blood which had been spilled. Three days were 22 NOTES TO THE STAR IN THE EAST. devoted to a promiscuous massacre. On the third day after the victory, three hundred men, to whom Tancred and Gaston de Beam had promised protection, and had given a standard as a warrant for their safety, were murdered in cold blood by the soldiery. The subjugated and defenceless inhabitants, women with children at the breast, girls and boys, were dragged into the public places, and deliberately butchered ; while the synagogues were set on fire, and great numbers of Jews perished in the flames. Seventy thousand Moslems is the total number, according to Gib- bon, of those who were put to the sword ; and the infection of the dead bodies, he adds, produced an epidemic disease. Yet the con- querors could still reserve a multitude of captives, whom interest or lassitude persuaded them to spare. See Gibbon's Decline and Fall, c. lviii. ; and Mills's History of the Crusades, vol. i. c Page 6. The conqueror blusJi'd to take His golden crown, yet not refused the name^ King of Jerusalem, Godfrey of Bouillon was elected king of Jerusalem by the unanimous voice of the army ; and " his magnanimity," says Gibbon, " accepted a trust as full of danger as of glory. But, in a city where his Saviour had been crowned with thorns, the devout pilgrim rejected the name and ensigns of royalty ; and the founder of the kingdom of Jerusalem contented himself with the modest title of Defender and Baron of the Holy Sepulchre." Gibbon, c. lviii. The speech attributed to Godfrey on this occasion is, that he would not wear a crown of gold, where his Saviour had worn a crown of thorns. The title of king, however, if not as- sumed by Godfrey during his short reign, was claimed by his suc- cessors ; and he is uniformly mentioned as the first Christian king of Jerusalem. NOTES TO THE STAR IN THE EAST. 23 d Page 6. Then pilgrim* came Crouching to Turkish lords, and rival sects Bargained and quarrclVd for the sepulchre. " The occupation of the holy places is the great object of con- tention. They are in the hands of the Turks, by whom the right of occupation is sold to the highest bidder." Jowett's Christian Researches, p. 430. See also Richardson's Travels, vol. ii. p. 331. e Page 9. Those Christian lords, Great Juggernaut's copartners, shared the gains Of It is lewd triumphs, winking at the cheat. " The temple of Juggernaut (in Orissa) is under the im- mediate control of the English government, who levy a tax on pilgrims as a source of revenue." See Buchanan's Christian Re- searches, p. 143. f Page 9. Yea, and at Door ga feasts, the Christian fair Did graceful homage to the mis-shaped gods, And pledged the cup of demons. See 1 Cor. x. 20, 21. — "At some of these nantches (balls given in honour of the doorgas, or idols) I have seen two hundred persons sit down to a sumptuous supper, where champagne cir- culated like water, and the richest ices were melted in the most costly liquors. Of these suppers the Hindoos, of course, will not partake ; but they enter the apartment, congratulate the guests, and see that the European tavern-keepers, employed to prepare them, provide every thing on a liberal scale Some sit and look at the dances, while others promenade round the virandas to view the household gods, hundreds of whom are placed in con- spicuous situations ; some half-elephant, half -man ; others with 24 NOTES TO THE STAR IX THE EAST. numerous heads and arms ; here quite naked, there sumptuously arrayed." Fifteen Years in India, p. 276. g Page 9- Bear thou witness too, Hive?' of hell, whose deadly baptism stains E'en to the soul its victim. To prevent the practice of self-immolation and infanticide in the Ganges, the British government of India passed a law, in March, 1802, declaring any person guilty of murder, who should aid or assist in such sacrifices. See Asiatic Annual Register for 1808. See also Ward's Farewell Letters, p. 71. L Page 10. Fresh beads for KalVs necklace. See Sketches of India, by an Officer, 8vo. p. 89. The god- dess Kali, or Kalee, is decorated with a necklace of human skulls. 1 Page 11. Thy sage Mollahs, say, have they yet resolved The Christian s knotty interrogatives? " It was in that city (Shiraz) that he (Henry Martyn) com- posed many of the queries relative to the Mahommedan faith, none of which have yet been answered by the wisest sages and mollahs of Persia. Indeed, these staggering doubts, cast upon the creed of Mecca, have afforded unceasing occupation to the pen of Mirza Bezourk, the devout and learned minister of Abbas Mirza. But, after eight years' consideration, discussing, and writing on these stubborn points, still his labours, like the web of Penelope, seem sans fin ; for, dissatisfied with what is done, he frequently obliterates in one L day what has been the toil of a year at least." Porter's Travels in Georgia, Persia, &c. vol. ii. p. 23. NOTES TO THE STAR IN THE EAST. 25 k Page ] 1 . The Caliphate, Shrunk to the shadow of a name, survives But In thy Othman rival, who e*en now Sees Egypt lost, and quails before the Greek. •' The creed of the Wahabites arose from Abdul Waheb, its founder, in the year 1 760 : it is like that of the Soofees in Persia, and seems to allow only of a system of pure Theism, excluding Mahommed and Ali, and all the traditions of the Koran. After having travelled in Persia and India, Abdul, on his return to his own country, the Najd, erected an independent state, collected followers to his standard with the hope of plunder, and, marching against Mecca, plundered the mosques, and destroyed the inha- bitants. The Turkish government was alarmed, and sent against him the pasha of Syria, whose armies were defeated ; and, trusting rather to treachery than force, a treaty was concluded, and Abdul was assassinated. The son of Abdul avenged his father's death, and Mecca and Medina were again laid under contribution. The Prophet's tomb shared the fate of his descendants ; and of ali the holy places, nothing sacred or valuable was respected but the Caaba. The alarm of the divan, on account of these inroads, was the greater, lest the authority of the sultan should be questioned ; as he can only retain the name of c ali pit, vicar or successor of the Prophet,— a name so revered by Mahommedans, — whilst he is master of Mecca or of Medina. The Wahabites, though de- feated by the pasha of Egypt, still possess considerable power, and only wait a favourable moment to take vengeance on their enemies." Lord Valentia's Travels, vol. ii. c. 8. 1 Page 11. Thy Euphrates Shall fee his ancient cJ tunnel, to prepare A passage for the monarchs of the East* Rev. xvi. 12. " A id the sixth angel poured out his vial upon C 26 NOTES TO THE STAR IN THE EAST. the great river Euphrates, and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the East might be prepared." m Page 12. Woman there Relent into the mother. About 9000 children, it is said, are annually exposed in the city of Pekin, and the same number in the rest of the empire. See Barrow's Travels in China. n Page 12. Thy mystic tongue deciphered now. Dr. Morrison has recently brought to a close his Chinese and English Dictionary, a work which has occupied more or less of his time during fifteen years. It is being printed at the sole ex- pense of the Hon. East India Company. The whole of the Bible has been translated into Chinese by Drs. Morrison and Milne con- jointly. Of the New Testament, three large editions have already been printed. The institution of the Anglo-Chinese College at Malacca promises the most important results. Sufficiently re- moved, by its local situation, from the interference of the Chinese authorities, it admits of an easy and extensive communication with the Chinese population scattered over the islands of the Indian archipelago, by whose means the knowledge of Christianity can- not fail eventually to extend itself to the continent. Ever since the year 1813 Divine Service has been more or less regularly per- formed, both in English and in Chinese, either at Macao or at Canton. See London Missionary Society's Report for 1823, pp. 29—32. Page 13. A moral mi Taheite now enjoys the gladdening smile Of Sabbaths. M A nation of pilferers have become eminently trust- worthy. XOTES TO THE STAR IX THE EAST. 2? A people, formerly universally addicted to lasciviousness in all its forms, have become modest and virtuous in the highest degree. Those who, a few years ago, despised all forms of religion, except their own horrid and cruel superstitions, have universally declared their approbation of Christianity ; study diligently those parts of the Christian Scriptures which have been translated for them ; ask earnestly for more, and appear conscientiously to regulate them- selves by those Sacred Oracles, under the direction of their kind teachers, whose self-denying zeal and perseverance have been almost as remarkable as the success with which God has been pleased to honour them." London Missionary Society's Report for 1823, p. 3. p Page 13. Alike the scorching line and freezing pole. Some of the Moravian missionaries have actually undergone this transition, on changing their station in the Nicobar Islands for the coast of Greenland or Labrador. 9 Page 14. " Giver of life!" " The Wahconda (master of life) is believed to be the greatest and btst of beings, the creator and preserver of all things, and the fountain of mystic medicine. Omniscience, omnipresence, and vast power are attributed to him ; and he is supposed to afflict them with sickness, poverty, or misfortune for their evil deeds. In conversation, he is frequently appealed to as an evidence of the truth of their asseverations.'" James's Account of an Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, vol. i. p. 246. " In respect to the origin of their religion, the Indians themselves are altogether ignorant. It is certain, however, that they acknowledge one supreme, all- powerful, intelligent being; viz. the Great Spirit, or the Giver of c 2 28 NOTES TO THE STAR IN THE EAST. life, who created and governs all things." Hunter's Memoirs of a Captivity among the Indians of North America, 8vo. p. 214. ■ Page 15. What marvel then if riches grow in hell ? " Let none admire that riches grow in hell." Milton. 8 Page 15. And the Sierra smiles a Christian land. For an account of the present state of that most interesting philanthropic experiment, the colony of Sierra Leone, see Mission- ary Register for July, 1823. 1 Page 16. His impious boast, Mine arc they all! See Luke iv. 6. « Page 16. Her bestial symbols chased back to their dens. At Dixcove, in Ahanta on the Gold Coast, the crocodile is wor- shipped ; at Accra the hyena is the favourite object of adoration ; in the kingdom of Dahomey, the snake ; and vultures all over the coast. The practice of human sacrifices is equally prevalent. See Hutton's Voyage to Africa, p. 41. SACRED POEMS. SACRED POEMS. PSALM II. Why do the heathen rage ? Against the skies Why thus in vain with angry tumult rise? Kings of the earth, with impotent design, Against Jehovah and his Christ combine. Come, let us burst their bonds, they madly cry, And cast away their yoke. He who on high Sits throned in heaven, derides their impious dream, Hears their mad vaunts, and over-rules the scheme. Then speaks in thunder : Yet have I appointed Him to be King in Zion, my Anointed. To him Jehovah spake : Thou art my Son ! This day proclaims thee mine Eternal One. Ask for thy right : the nations all are thine; Earth's utmost bounds thy heritage divine. 32 SACRED POEMS. They who resist thy sceptre, are but clay Warring with iron, to their own dismay. Learn wisdom, then, ye kings ! ye rulers, hear ! Adore Jehovah's name with pious fear. Do homage to the Son, to whom are given All government on earth, all power in heaven. Submit ere wakes his anger : then, too late, The rebel shall relent. In awful state He comes, he comes, the Holy and the Just ! Then blessed they who in their Saviour trust ! PSALM XXIII. The Lord my shepherd is, And He my soul will keep ; He knoweth who are his, And watch eth o'er his sheep. Away with every anxious fear : I cannot want while He is near. SACRED POEMS. S3 His wisdom doth provide The pasture where I feed : Where the still waters glide Along the quiet mead He leads my feet ; and, when I roam, O'ertakes and brings the wanderer home. He leads himself the way His faithful flor.lv should take : Them who his voice obey, His love will ne'er forsake ; For He has pledged his holy name, He who for ever is the same. Let me but feel Him near, Death's gloomy pass in view, I '11 walk, without a fear, The shadowy valley through. With rod and staff, my shepherd's care Will guide my steps and guard me there. c 5 34 SACRED POEMS. Still is my table spread : My foes stand silent by. I feed on living- bread ; My cruse is never dry. And surely love and mercy will Attend me on my journey still. Still hope and grateful praise Shall form my constant song ; Shall cheer my gloomiest days, And tune my dying tongue — Until my ransom'd soul shall rise To praise Him better in the skies. PSALM XXXIV. For ever will I bless the Lord, Nor cease his praise to speak. My song his goodness shall record, That the oppress'd and weak May trust in Him, who will reward The humble and the meek. SACRED POEMS. O magnify the Lord with me ! Come, join his name to bless. To Him did I in trouble flee : He saved me from distress. Oh, let him then your refuge be, Nor shall you fail success ! He is a God who heareth prayer : He raised me from the dust. And angel bands keep station where Dangers would harm the just. Oh, try his love, and trust his care : Blessed are they who trust ! O fear the Lord, ye saints of his ; Make him your trust and dread : Then cast off every care but this, For He will give you bread. The famish'd beast its prey may miss ; His children shall be fed. 36 SACRED POEMS, Ye who would length of days attain, And have your joy increase, Let truth your guarded lips restrain, From guile and falsehood cease ; From malice and revenge refrain, And follow after peace. God on his saints looks watchful down ; His ear attends their cry. The wicked sin beneath his frown ; Their very name shall die ; But He at length the just will crown With joy and victory. The broken heart His grace shall heal ; His hand the contrite raise. Many the woes the righteous feel, Yet still, in all their ways, Kept by his power, they bear the seal Of his redeeming grace. SACRED POEMS. 37 Evil shall be its own reward, And just the sinners fate. But Thou our ransom didst afford : Thy mercy, Lord, we wait. And none who wait upon the Lord Shall e'er be desolate. PSALM LXVII. Be merciful, O God of grace, To us thy people. Let thy face Beam on us, that thy church may shine In this dark world, with light divine. That light divine, Oh, let it spread, Till all the darkness shall have fled ; And the false crescent's waning ray Be lost in the full noon of day. 38 SACRED POEMS. Reveal, O Lord, thy saving plan To all the families of man. Let distant nations hear Thy word : Let all the nations praise the Lord. Let them with joy thy praises sing, Earth's righteous Judge and sovereign King. Illumin'd by thy holy word, Let all the nations praise the Lord. Then shall this barren world assume New beauty, and the desert bloom. Our God shall richly bless us then, And all men fear his name. Amen. SACRED POEMS. 39 PSALM LXXXIV. [Air. Handel's CIV^.] How honour'd, how dear,, That sacred abode, Where Christians draw near Their Father and God ! Mid worldly commotion, My wearied soul faints For the house of devotion, The home of thy saints. The birds have their home : They fix on their nest. Wherever they roam, They return to their rest. From them fondly learning, My soul would take wing; To Thee so returning, My God and my King ! 40 SACRED POEMS. O happy the choirs Who praise'Thee above ! What joy tunes their lyres ! Their worship is love. Yet, safe in thy keeping, And happy they be, In this world of weeping, Whose strength is in Thee. Though rugged their way, They drink, as they go, Of springs that convey New life as they flow. The God they rely on, Their strength shall renew, Till each brought to Zion His glory shall view. Thou Hearer of pray'r, Still grant me a place, SACRED POEMS. 41 Where Christians repair To the courts of thy grace ! More blest beyond measure One day so employed, Than years of vain pleasure By worldlings enjoy'd. Me more would it please Keeping post at thy gate, Than lying at ease In chambers of state. The meanest condition Outshines, with thy smiles, The pomp of ambition, The world with its wiles. The Lord is a sun : The Lord is a shield. What Grace has begun, With Glory is seal'd. 42 SACRED POEMS. He hears the distressed : He succours the just : And they shall be blessed Who make Him their trust. PSALM XCVI. O sing unto Jehovah a new song : O sing unto Jehovah, all the earth. O sing unto Jehovah, and prolong From day to day His praise with holy mirth ! His glory to the Pagan world proclaim. Let Asia hear, and from her idols turn; Let fetter'd Afric hail Jehovah's name ; And the new world His ancient worship learn. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, The God of gods : Him only will we fear. Vain idols are all other gods : He raised The heavens, and bade the universe appear. SACRED POEMS. 43 Pou'r infinite and majesty sublime Precede his steps : He dwells in glorious light. Ascribe to Him, ye tribes of every clime. To Him alone, glory, and rule, and might ! O give to God the praise which is His due ; With offerings meet do homage at His throne. O worship Him with hearts devout and true ! Tremble, O earth ! thy Maker's presence own. Proclaim to earth's remotest bounds, He reigneth, Lord God Omnipotent* Soon, soon shall cease The world's commotions, while alone remaineth That kingdom which is righteousness and peace. Be glad, O heavens, and let the earth rejoice ; Ocean with all his waves exult; the dumb Break silence, and mute Nature find a voice; Green fields and woods rejoice: the Lord will come ! — 44 SACRED POEMS. Will come to judge the earth, to vindicate His justice and his truth, to break the chain Of Nature's bondage, — come to renovate Creation, and for evermore to reign ! PSALM CXXIV. Had not the Lord been on my side, How oft his saints may say ! Had not my God his aid supplied, When, fierce as beasts of prey, Men rose against me, I had been The helpless victim of their spleen. Had not the Lord been nigh to save, When troubles, like a tide, Came in upon me, wave on wave, Then had the deluge wide O'erwhelm'd me : then without control, The waters had gone o'er my soul. SACRED POEMS. 4.3 Blessed be God ! my prayer be beard, And harmless grew my foes. He broke the snare : the trembling* bird On joyful wing- arose. Our help, our trust is in the Lord, Who call'd forth all thing's by his word. PSALM CXLV. I will ext<»l thy name, O God, my king: For ever will I bless Thee. Day by day Shall my glad lips Thy daily goodness sing; To Thee an everlasting tribute pay. Great is the Lord, unfathomably great : Exalted as his greatness be his praise. Oh, teach it to your children, and relate His deeds of might, the goodness of his ways. Tell of Jehovah's glorious majesty ; Tell of his power that spread the heavens abroad ; 46 SACRED POEMS. Tell of the flaming mount, the parting sea, — How earth, and sea, and heaven obeyed their God. Tell of the bread from heaven that daily fell; The new-born spring that made the desart glad ; The mystic guide, that constant miracle, A cloud by day, by night with glory clad. Gracious and merciful is God : how slow To anger, and how ready to forgive ! The Lord is good : how free his mercies flow ! His bounty is the life of all that live. Thee, all thy works, Maker omnipotent, Through all the various realms of nature praise : Thee, all thy saints, with voice intelligent Adoring, sing the wonders of thy ways. Oh, let them to an impious world proclaim That glory, power, and government are Thine ; SACRED POEMS. 1? Till earth confess the terrors of thy name, And king's to Thee their shadowy crowns resign. Thy kingdom is an everlasting- reign ; For ever Thy dominion must extend ; The universe Thy infinite domain, Enduring till eternity shall end. Our God is faithful : every word must stand. Nor can He chang-e, nor can Mis promise fail. The Lord upholds the falling-: his own hand Raises the prostrate, and supports the frail. On Thee all creatures wait. Lord,, Thou suppliest The beasts with food. They cry in their distr< Thou openest Thy hand, and satisfiest The wants of all that live with plenteous:.' The Lord is righteous, merciful as ju^t, Holy as merciful. The Lord is nigh 48 SACRED POEMS. To all that call upon Him as their trust : He will deliver, nor despise their cry. No harm can reach His children : they shall see The wicked perish, and adore his ways. My heart shall still, O God, exult in Thee : Let every tongue swell Thine eternal praise ! PSALM CXLVIII. I. Praise Jehovah, all on high — Saints and angels fix'd in bliss, All ye countless hosts of his ; Sun by day, and moon by night, Praise Him, all ye stars of light; Highest heavens, and all things there, Waters poised in purest air, And all ye realms of sky ! SACRED POEMS. \9 Praise His name, at whose command, All things were, and all things stand : Still their ancient course they hold, By th' Almighty word controlled ! II. Praise Jehovah, all below — Watery depths, and all that be In the wonder-teeming sea; Central fire and icy hail, Dews, and snow, and stormy gale, Blowing only as He wills ; Ancient mountains, wood-clad hills, Palm and olive, oak and pine, Waving corn and clustering vine ; Forest beasts, and bleating herds, Creeping things, and soaring birds, And rivers as ye How : Monarchs, with your people all, Princes, peasants, great and small ; D 50 SACRED POEMS. Manly youth and virgins shy, Age and lisping infancy, Praise Jehovah's glorious name : He alone doth worship claim. But His glory, vast, sublime, Passes earth, and heaven, and time. He His chosen seed hath blest : They should praise their Maker best, O ye saints, His love record : Praise, for ever praise the Lord ! " Hallelujah ! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." — Rev. xix. 6. The Lord is King ! lift up thy voice, O earth, and all ye heavens, rejoice ! From world to world the joy shall ring: The Lord Omnipotent is King. SACKED POEMS. 51 The Lord is King ! who then shall dare Resist His will, distrust his care, Or murmur at his wise decrees, Or doubt his royal promises ? The Lord is King! child of the dust, The Judge of all the earth is just. Holy and true are all His ways : Let every creature speak His praise. He reigns ! ye saints, exalt your strains : Your God is King, your Father reigns. And He is at the Father's side, The Man of love, the Crucified. Come, make your wants, your burdens known ; He will present them at the throne ; And angel bands are waiting there, His messages of love to bear. d2 52 SACRED POEMS. Oh, when His wisdom can mistake, His might decay, his love forsake, Then may his children cease to sing, The Lord Omnipotent is King. Alike pervaded by His eye, All parts of his dominion lie ; This world of ours and worlds unseen, And thin the boundary between. One Lord, one empire, all secures : He reigns — and life and death are yours. Through earth and heaven one song shall ring The Lord Omnipotent is King. SACRED POEMS. 53 • ; Who then can be saved ? . . . . With God all things are possible/' — Mark x. 37. Oh, how shall feeble flesh and blood Burst through the bonds of sin ? The holy kingdom of our God, What man shall enter in ? Despising all that worldlings love, By which the soul 's enslaved, — Forsaking all for things above, — Oh, who can thus be saved ? He who made all things, He who said, Let there be light, can give This saving strength, can raise the dead, And bid the sinner live. And will not He who ransom'd man, A Saviour's work fulfil ? 54 SACRED POEMS. Almighty is his power : He can. Boundless his love : He will. His word, his Spirit all ensures To them who trust his love. Here,, saints, shall victory be yours, And crowns of joy above. " My sheep hear my voice . . . and I give unto them eternal life ; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." — John x. 27 — 8. They whom the Father giveth By covenant to the Son, Must live, because He liveth, And Christ and they are one. The soul He deigns to cherish, Can never, never perish. SACRED POEMS. 55 Oh, who from his embraces Can pluck his ransom'd sheep? Earth has no hidden places : His eyelids never sleep. The keys of death he beareth ; Their heaven he now prepareth. Their sins — the Lord hath borne them : The Law — He satisfied. Transgressions — yes, they mourn them ; But, Tempter, Jesus died. My soul thy charge denieth : 'Tis God that justifieth. The body where his Spirit As in a temple dwelt, Corruption may inherit; But, from its ruins built, Shall rise (oh, far excelling !) The soul's immortal dwelling. 56 SACRED POEMS. Christ watches o'er the embers Of all his faithful dead : There *s life for all the members In Him the living Head. Their dust he weighs and measures ; Their every atom treasures. He once, a victor bleeding, Slew Death, destroyed the Grave. Now, throned, yet interceding, He lives thy soul to save, He comes, O day of wonder ! The graves are rent asunder. But oh, that vast transition ! How shall a creature dare Gaze on the awful vision, To find a Saviour there ? They whom he deigns to cherish, Shall never, never perish. SACRED POEMS. 57 His mercy shall prevent them, His righteousness invest: He shall himself present them Before the Father, drest In robes of spotless whiteness, All beauty, joy, and brightness. FOR THE EUCHARIST. u I am the living bread which came down from heaven. . . . Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life. .... I am the true vine."— John vi. 51 — 4, xv. I. Bread of Heav'n ! on Thee I feed, For thy flesh is meat indeed. Ever may my soul be fed With this true and living bread; Day by day with strength supplied, Through the life of Him who died. Vine of Heav'n ! thy blood supplies This blest cup of sacrifice. D 5 58 SACRED POEMS. Tis thy wounds my healing give : To thy Cross I look, and live. Thou my life ! Oh, let me be Rooted, grafted, built on Thee. DOXOLOGY. Now with angels round the throne, Cherubim and seraphim, And the Church which still is one, Let us swell the solemn hymn. Glory to the great I AM ! Glory to the Victim-Lamb ! Blessing, honour, glory, might, And dominion infinite, To the Father of our Lord, To the Spirit and the Word ; As it was, is now, and then Shall be evermore : Amen. SACRED POEMS. 5Q HYMN. 11 If Ood be for us, who can be against us?" — Rom. viii. 31, &c. [Air. No. XXXV. in Jowett's Musa? Solitaria?.] If all the world abhor us, Or, Satan, thou arraign'st us, If God, if God be for us, Who then can be against us ? Its foes the soul contemneth, Whom God has justified. Who is he that condemneth, Since it is Christ that died ! Yea, risen and ascended, He now our cause is pleading; There, till this world be ended, For ever interceding. From Him no separation His saints can apprehend : He who is their salvation, Will save them to the end. 60 SACRED POEMS. Not present pains or evils, Not sorest tribulations ; Not tyrants, no, nor devils, With all their fierce temptations : Nor aught of man's endeavour, Nor death, nor powers above. The ransom'd soul can sever From Jesus and his love. THE POOR MAN'S HYMN. " Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom ?" — James ii. 5. As much have I of worldly good As e'er my Master had : I diet on as dainty food, And am as richly clad, Though plain my garb, though scant my board, As Mary's Son and Nature's Lord. SACRED POEMS. <>l The manger was his infant bed, His home, the mountain-cave. He had not where to lay his head ; He borrow'd ev'n his grave. Earth yielded him no resting-spot, — Her Maker, but she knew him not. As much the world's good-will I share, Its favour and applause, As He whose blessed name I bear, — Hated without a cause, Despised, rejected, mock'd by pride, Betray'd, forsaken, crucified. Why should I court my Masters foe ? Why should I fear its frown ? Why should I seek for rest below, Or sigh for brief renown r — A pilgrim to a better land, An heir of joys at God's right hand. SACRED POEMS. " If any man serve me, let him follow me." — John xii. 26. How shall I follow Him I serve ? How shall I copy Him I love? Nor from those blessed footsteps swerve, Which lead me to his seat above ? Privations, sorrows, bitter scorn, The life of toil, the mean abode, The faithless kiss, the crown of thorn, Are these the consecrated road r 'Twas thus he suffered, though a Son, Foreknowing, choosing, feeling all ; Until the perfect work was done, And drunk the bitter cup of gall. SAC RED POEMS. 63 Oh, should my path through suffering He, Forbid it I should e'er repine ! Still let me turn to Calvary, Nor heed my griefs, remembering thine. But when, ray days with comforts crown'd, As husband and as parent bless'd, I look with tearful joy around, And clasp my treasures to my breast ; Oh, let me think how thou didst leave Untasted every pure delight, To fast, to faint, to watch, to grieve, The toilsome day, the houseless night : — To faint, to grieve, to die for me ! Tho a earnest not thyself to please ! And dear as earthly comforts be, Shall I not love thee more than these ? 64 SACRED POEMS. Yes, I would count them all but loss, To gain the notice of thine eye. Flesh shrinks and trembles at the Cross, But thou canst give the victory. Thou, who for Peter's faith didst pray, Against whose blessed self were hurl'd The Tempter's darts, be thou my stay ! Help me to overcome the world. Thy grace can make the boastful meek, The wavering firm, the sensual pure ; Put heavenly might upon the weak, And make them happy who endure. Oh, still that needful grace afford ! On thee my trembling soul I cast. Perfect thy work within me, Lord, And own my worthless name at last. SACRED POEMS. 65 More than they that watch for the morning." — Psalm cxxx. 6'. Oh, when will smiling morn Dispel the shades of night ? — But hark ! another hour is gone ! Oh, when will it be light ? But danc'd there not a beam Of daylight on my pane ? All ! 'twas the moon's inconstant beam ; Now all is dark again. Shine out, fair orb ! 'Tis sweet, While I in darkness lie, T' indulge awhile the bright deceit, And breathe th' alternate sigh. 66 SACRED POEMS. — Oh, darker far than night, Care's sullen shadows roll. I sit and watch in vain for light, The morning of the soul. And if athwart the scene, Hope her soft moonbeam cast, Again the clouds soon intervene, And the bright moment 's past. Or if around my head Fond dreams of pleasure dance, Reality, with thundering tread, Soon wakes me from my trance. But dimly through the gloom, Yon mountain top behold ! What radiant fires its head illume, And turn the clouds to gold ? SACRED POEMS. Oh ! 'tis th' unrisen beams Of never-ending- day ! Fond Hope, shake off thy earthly dreams ; Pursue thy pilgrim way* Arise, and let us climb That sacred mountain's height, And look beyond the rocks of Time O'er boundless seas of light. O happy, happy spheres, Where sorrows never rise, And not a passing cloud appears, To shade the sapphire skies ! Fly on, ye years of night ! Oh, they will soon be past : Eternity appears in sight, And 'twill be morn at last. 1809. 68 SACRED POEMS. Nevertheless, I am continually with Thee." — Psalm lxxiii. 23. When, in the hour of lonely woe, I give my sorrows leave to flow, And care, and fear, and dark distrust, Weigh down my spirit to the dust ; W 7 hen not e'en Friendship's gentle aid Can heal the wounds the world has made ; Oh, this shall check each rising sigh, My Saviour is for ever nigh. His counsels and upholding care My safety and my comfort are : And he shall guide me all my days, Till glory crown the work of grace. SACRED POEMS. ()<) Jesus ! in whom but Thee above, Can I repose my trust, my love? And shall an earthly object be Loved in comparison with Thee ? My flesh is hastening to decay ; Soon shall the world have pass'd away ; And what can mortal friends avail., When heart, and strength, and life shall fail? But oh, be thou, my Saviour, nigh, And I will triumph while I die. My strength, my portion is Divine ; And Jesus is for ever mine. 1809. SACRED TOEMS. " O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me."— Psalm cxxxix. 1. Lord ! whatever in mortal eyes My conscious soul appear,, Seen beneath that fair disguise Which veils the most sincere, Thou dost, with all-piercing view, Search my inmost spirit through : In my native vileness seen, Ere Grace subdued my will ; All the sinner might have been. All that makes me still Sigh or tremble, doubt or moan, Known to Thee, and Thee alone. In abasement at thy feet, Lord, I would ever lie. SACKED POEMs. 71 Yet, it is a mercy-seat, And I may venture nigh. Who the contrite shall condemn ? Christ hath died, and pleads for them. Let me still, in human sight, A holy semblance wear. What but Mercy Infinite Could perfect knowledge bear ? He that fashion'd knows my frame, And Forgiveness is his name. But if thine approving smile, My Father, cheer my breast, Let the world account me vile, It shall not break my rest. Strong in weakness I shall be ; Rich, however poor, in Thee. 18N. 72 SACKED POEMS. " I was brought low, and he helped me." — Psalm cxvi. 6. O thou God who hearest prayer, Every hour and every where ! Listen to my feeble breath Now I touch the gates of death. For His sake whose blood I plead, Hear me in my hour of need. Hear and save me, gracious Lord ! For my trust is in Thy word. Wash me from the stain of sin, That thy peace may rule within. May I know myself Thy child, Ransom'd, pardon'd, reconciled. Dearest Lord, may I so much As thy garment's hem but touch ; SACRED POEMS. Or but raise my languid eye To the Cross where thou didst die ; It shall make my spirit whole, It shall heal and save my soui. — Thou art merciful to save ! Thou hast snatch'd me from the grave ! I would kiss the chastening* rod, O my Father and my God. Only hide not now thy face, God of all-sufficient grace ! Leave me not, my strength, my trust ! Oh, remember I am dust. Leave me not again to stray; Leave me not the Tempter's prey. Fix my heart on things above : Make me happy in Thy love. Sept. 1820. 74 SACRED POEMS. A THOUGHT ON THE SEA-SHORE. " Though he be not far from every one of us." — Acts, xvii. c 27 Beyond, beyond that boundless sea, Above that dome of sky, Further than thought itself can flee, Thy dwelling- is on high : Yet, dear the awful thought to me, That Thou, my God, art nigh : — Art nigh, and yet my labouring mind Feels after Thee in vain, Thee in these works of power to find, Or to Thy seat attain. Thy messenger, the stormy wind, Thy path, the trackless main — These speak of Thee with loud acclaim ; They thunder forth thy praise, SACRED POEMS. J5 The glorious honour of Thy name, The wonders of Thy ways : But Thou art not in tempest- flame, Nor in day's glorious blaze. We hear thy voice, when thunders roll, Through the wide fields of air. The waves obey Thy dread control ; Yet still Thou art not there. Where shall I find Him, O my soul, Who yet is every where ? Oh, not in circling depth, or height, But in the conscious breast, Present to faith, though veil'd from sight, There does His Spirit rest. O come, thou Presence Infinite, And make thy creature blest. Happisburgh, June, 1322. E 2 76 SACRED FOEMS. THE COMET. (1811.) Mysterious Visitant, whose beauteous light Among the wondering stars so strangely gleams ! Like a proud banner in the train of Night, Th' emblazon'd flag of Deity it streams — Infinity is written on thy beams ; And thought in vain would through the pathless sky Explore thy secret course. Thy circle seems Too vast for Time to grasp. Oh, can that Eye Which numbers hosts like thee, this atom Earth descry? O Thou, my every hope, my only fear ! Father of lights, round whom the systems roll, With all their suns and comets, sphere on sphere, Thine all-pervading energy the soul, SACRED POEMS. 77 Thyself the centre of the mighty whole ! When death shall purge this film of sense away, And truth with irresistible control Shall seize my ravish'd mind, — that awful day How shall my soul sustain, that infinite survey ? Then shall I shudder at the guilty past, Feeling thy awful presence on my heart. Was it at Thee, O God, my sins I cast ? Oh, on my trembling soul thy mercy dart, For now I feel how terrible Thou art. Thou wert all-present, and I saw Thee not : Thou art my bliss, and yet I said, Depart : Murmur'd, though boundless Goodness fix'd my lot: — And wilt Thou own the soul that Thee so oft forgot ? O wondrous thought ! the High and Holy One Inhabiting eternity, will make The humble soul his dwelling-place. The Sun Whose rising beams on orbs innumerous break, 78 SACRED POEMS. Doth shine as much for the poor reptile's sake. To Him is nothing great, is nothing small. He fills a world : He bids the insect take Its being full of bliss : He form'd them all. He guides the Comet's course, he marks the spar- row's fall. Man — man, though in the dust his reptile birth, Behold his nature now to God allied ; Link'd to the golden throne this creature Earth By ties that shall eternally abide. Let suns, let systems perish — Jesus died : Nor shall one vital spark be quench'd in night, Which God has kindled. Here, my soul, confide, Safe in the arms of Everlasting Might, And circled with the beams of Uncreated Light. SACRED POEMS. 79 MONODY OX THE DEATH OF HENRY KIRKE WHITE. What is this world at best, Though deck'd in vernal bloom, By Hope and youthful Fancy drest? What but a ceaseless toil for rest,— A passage to the tomb ? If flowrets strew The avenue, Though fair, alas ! how fading and how few : And every hour comes arm'd By care or keener woe : Conceal'd beneath its little wings, A scythe the soft-shod pilferer brings, To lay some comfort low; — Some tie to unbind, By love entwined, — Some silken bond that holds the captive mind. 80 , SACRED POEMS. And every month displays The ravages of Time. Faded the flowers, the summer past, The scatter d leaves, the chilling blast, Warn to a milder clime. The songsters flee The leafless tree, And bear to happier realms their melody. Henry ! the world no more Can claim thee for her own : In purer skies thy radiance beams ; Thy lyre employ'd on nobler themes Before the Eternal throne. Yet, Spirit dear ! Forgive the tear Which they must shed, who 're doom'd to linger here. Although a stranger, I In Friendship's train would weep. SACRED POEMS. 81 Lost to the world, alas ! so young ! And must thy lyre, in silence hung, On the dark cypress sleep ? The poet, all Their friend may call ; And Nature's self attends his funeral. Although with feebler wing, Thy flight would I pursue With quicken'd zeal, with humbled pride, Alike our object, hope, and guide, One heaven alike in view. True, it was thine, To tower, to shine ; But I may make thy milder virtues mine. If Jesus own my name, Though Fame pronounce it never, Sweet Spirit, not with Thee alone, But all whose absence here I moan, E 5 82 SACRED POEMS. Circling with harps the golden throne, I shall unite for ever. At death then why Tremble or sigh ? Oh, who would wish to live, but he who fears to die ? Dec. 1807. IN REPLY TO STANZAS BY HENRY KIRKE WHITE. " It is not that my lot is low, That bids this silent tear to flow ; It is not grief that bids me moan : It is that I am all alone." But art thou thus indeed alone, Quite unbefriended, all unknown ? And hast thou then His name forgot, Who form'd thy frame, and nVd thy lot ? SACKED POEMS. S3 Is not His voice in evening's gale ? Beams not with Him the star so pale - Is there a leaf can fade and die Unnoticed by His watchful eye ? Each fluttering hope, each anxious fear, Each lonely sigh, each silent tear, To thine Almighty Friend are known : And say'st thou, " I am all alone }" 1807. TO THE MEMORY OF A YOUNG LADY. [S.J. ob. Mar. 13, 1822.] Go, said the Lord of Death, The Sovereign of the Grave : One of the nine must yield his breath, For I must smite to save. The monster at the bidding sped, But angels waited on his tread. 84* SACRED POEMS* Ah, which can best be spared ? Whom will the rest resign ? Or rather, which is best prepared To say, The turn be mine, First to engage the mighty foe ? 'Tis Death approaches — who will go ? The loveliest and the dearest, Whose smile threw gladness round : The loss of whom, to all severest, Shall plant the deepest wound, — Their pride, their life, their solace — she, Said the dread voice, my bride shall bee Vain boast ! 'Twas not thy choice, O Death, that laid her low. The mandate was a Father's voice. And wisdom ruled the blow : The fleshly robe alone thy prey, While angels bore the soul away. SACRED POEMS. 85 I heard from heaven crying, An angel voice that said, Bless'd are the dead, in Jesus dying, Yea, blessed are the dead. Sleep thou in Christ, my sister ! Rest Is thine, the slumber of the blest. I heard, from earth proceeding, Another voice proclaim : This dust, in beauty far exceeding The frail, decaying frame, Shall be refunded all, shall rise Fit for the service of the skies. Ah, soon the cheek is dry, And wounds the deepest heal : Memory at length forgets to sigh, And Grief forgets to feel. Soon spreads the turf, and flowrets bloom O'er the abysses of the tomb. 86 SACRED POEMS. Then, while the cheek is wet, And while the heart is wise, And, blending* with each fond regret, Some better thought s arise, Let Heaven each soften d heart obtain, Nor let a sister die in vain. THE REVERIE. " Animula vagula, blandula, Hospes comesque corporis, Qua? nunc abibis in loca, Pallidula, rigida, nudula ? Nee, ut soles, dabis jocos." Emperor Adrian to his Soul. PART I. TO *****. O that in unfetter'd union Spirit could with spirit blend ! SACRED POEMS. O that in unseen communion Thought could hold the distant friend ! Who the secrets can unravel Of the body's mystic guest ? Who knows how the soul may travel, While unconsciously we rest ? While, in pleasing thraldom lying, Seal'd in slumber deep it seems, Far abroad it may be flying: — What is Sleep ? and what are Dreams ? Earth, how narrow thy dominions, And how slow the body's pace ! O to range on eagle pinions Through illimitable space ! What is Thought ? In wild succession Whence proceeds the motley train ? What first stamps the vague impression On the ever active brain ? 88 SACRED POEMS. What is Thought? and whither tending, Does the subtle phantom flee ? Does it, like a moonbeam ending, Shine, then melt to vacancy ? Has a strange, mysterious feeling, Something shapeless, undefined, O'er thy lonely musings stealing, Ne'er impress'd thy pensive mind ; As if he, whose strong resemblance Fancy at that moment drew, By coincident remembrance Knew your thoughts, and thought of you : When, at Mercy's footstool bending, Thou hast felt a sacred glow, — Faith and Hope to heaven ascending, Love still lingering below; — Say, has ne'er the thought impress'd thee, That thy friend might feel thy prayer ? SACRED POEMS. 8g Or the wish at least possess'd thee,, He could then thy feelings share ? Who can tell ? — that fervent blessing — Angels, did ye hear it rise ? Do ye, thus your love expressing, Watch o'er human sympathies ? Do ye some mysterious token To the kindred bosom bear, And, to what the heart has spoken, Wake a chord responsive there ? Laws, perhaps, unknown but certain, Kindred spirits may control : But what hand can lift the curtain, And reveal the awful soul ? Dimly through life's vapours seeing, Who but longs for light to break? O this feverish dream of being ! When, my Friend, shall we awake ? 90 SACRED POEMS. Yes, the hour, the hour is hasting, Spirit shall with spirit blend. Fast mortality is wasting : Then the secret all shall end. Let, then, thought hold sweet communion, Let us breathe the mutual prayer, Till in Heaven's eternal union — O, my Friend, to meet thee there ! PART II. O the hour when this material Shall have vanish'd as a cloud ; — When, amid the wide ethereal, All the invisible shall crowd, And the naked soul, surrounded With realities unknown, Triumph in the view unbounded, Feel herself with God alone ! SACRED POEMS. 91 In that sudden, strange transition, By what new and finer sense Shall she grasp the mighty vision, And receive its influence ? Angels, guard the new immortal Through the wonder-teeming space, To the everlasting portal, To the spirit's resting-place. Will she then, with fond emotion, Aught of human love retain ? Or, absorl/d in pure devotion, Will no earthly trace remain ? Can the grave those ties dissever, With the very heart-strings twined ? Must she part, and part for ever, With the friend she leaves behind ? No: the past she still remembers: Faith and Hope, surviving too, 92 sacred poems. Ever watch those sleeping embers Which must rise and live anew. For the widow'd, lonely spirit Mourns till she be clothed afresh, Longs perfection to inherit, And to triumph in the Jlesk. Angels, let the ransom'd stranger In your tender care be blest, Hoping, trusting, safe from danger, Till the trumpet end her rest; Till the trump which shakes creation, Through the circling heavens shall roll, Till the day of consummation, Till the bridal of the soul. Can I trust a fellow-being ? Can I trust an Angel's care ? O thou merciful All-seeing, Beam around my spirit there ! SACRED TOEMS. 93 Jesus, blessed Mediator Thou the airy path hast trod, Thou the Judge, the Consummator, Shepherd of the fold of God ! Blessed fold ! no foe can enter, And no friend departeth thence. Jesus is their sun, their centre, And their shield Omnipotence. Blessed ! for the Lamb shall feed them, All their tears shall wipe away, To the living fountains lead them, Till Fruition's perfect day. Lo ! it comes, that day of wonder! Louder chorals shake the skies. Hades' gates are burst asunder : See ! the new-clothed myriads rise. Thought, repress thy weak endeavour : Here must Reason prostrate fall. () the ineffable For Ever, And the Eternal All in All ! DOMESTIC POEMS. PROEM. As through the mazy path of life I stray, While Youth and Hope as yet my steps attend, I love at times to pause, and strew the way With the wild blossoms that luxuriant pend From Spring's gay branches ; that whene'er I send My Memory to retrace my pilgrimage, She by those flowers her winding course may bend Back through each twilight path and weary stage, And with those early flowers wreathe the white brow of Age. 1811. DOMESTIC POEMS. 'J'Q # * * * * 4 I. Thou Lady dear, for whom I wake the string, With hand well nigh forgetful of its art, — Thou only one for whom I care to sing, Who first didst make the thrill of music dart Through every chord that vibrates in my heart, By thee attuned to gladness ! Lady, say, What tuneful mode may best my love impart, This hallow'd morn, — the sweetly solemn lay, Or numbers wild and free, my heart as light as they ? II. They said that I was grave. Dear Lady, yes : Joy may assume the pensive brow of Care. F 98 DOMESTIC POEMS. The tear of rapture and the sigh of bliss, The deep and earnest feeling best declare. When fresh with sunny showers the soften'd air First breathes of Spring, when first the milder skies Reveal that bright blue heaven, while lessening there, Th' exultant lark trills his loud melodies, And to the voice of Hope the echoing vale replies ; — III. Perchance, from distance borne, the merry peal Swells on the ear, accordant with the scene : Is it then sadness which doth strangely steal On the full heart, changing the gayest mien To seeming sorrow ? No : 'tis too serene For grief, for mirth too solemn, too refined. Then, Dearest, know by this, what oft have been My feelings, when, to pensiveness resign'd, The thought, the sense of thee has fill'd my raptured mind. DOMESTIC POEMS. 99 IV. That sunny smile, those tones of gentleness, More than the songs and balmy sweets of Spring, Subdue my soul. I would not feel them less; Yet, o'er thy brow when passing shadows fling A kindred sadness, it awakes the sting Of self-reproach ; I would that I were gay : I feel a poor, dull, melancholy thing, And wish that I could laugh my cares away, Joy in the present hour, nor hope beyond to-day. V. For brightest hopes will shadowy terrors cast : The sun which gives them brightness, throws the shade. Oh, would to-day ne'er melt into the past, Nor fear nor hope my bosom should invade ! But hope and fear are sweet ; far overpaid Each anxious hour of self-rewarding toil, Since 'tis for thee, the every effort made. v 2 100 DOMESTIC POEMS. Oh, let me only see thy peaceful smile, And I in quiet hope will serve thee yet awhile. VI. But shall I ever say to Hope farewell, Or cease for thee to woo the future good ? No :. still shall this returning day impel The ardent prayer that blends with gratitude, And lifts the heart to heaven. By Hope renew'd, Love still shall burn, unquench'd its pure desires, By Joy unsated, nor by Care subdued ; Till, in that world where Hope, where Faith ex- pires, Nor Age nor Time shall dim its undecaying fires. April 6, 1814. DOMESTIC POEMS. 101 HOME. That is not Home, where, day by day, I wear the busy hours away. That is not Home, where lonely night Prepares me for the toils of light. 'Tis hope, and joy, and memory, give A home in which the heart can live. These walls no lingering hopes endear : No fond remembrance chains me here. Cheerless I heave the lonely sigh — Eliza, need I tell thee why ? 'Tis where thou art is home to me, And home without thee cannot be. There are who strangely love to roam, And find in wildest haunts their home ; And some in halls of lordly state, Who yet are homeless, desolate. 102 DOMESTIC POEMS. The warriors home is tented plain ; The sailor's, on the stormy main ; The maiden's, in her bower of rest ; The infant's, on his mother's breast. But where thou art, is home to me, And home without thee cannot be. There is no home in halls of pride : They are too high, and cold, and wide. No home is by the wanderer found : 'Tis not in place ; it hath no bound. It is a circling atmosphere Investing all the heart holds dear ; — A law of strange attractive force, That holds the feelings in their course. It is a presence undefined, O'ershadowing the conscious mind, Where Love and Duty sweetly blend, To consecrate the name of Friend. Where'er thou art. is home to me, And home without thee cannot be. DOMESTIC POEMS. 103 My Love, forgive the anxious sigh — I hear the moments rushing by, And think that life is fleeting fast, That youth with us will soon be past. Oh, when will Time, consenting, give The home in which my heart can live ? There shall the Past and Future meet, And o'er our couch, in union sweet, Extend their cherub wings, and show'r Bright influence on the present hour. Oh, when shall Israel's mystic guide, The pillar'd cloud, our steps decide, Then, resting, spread its guardian shade To bless the home which Love has made ? Daily, my Love, shall thence arise Our hearts' united sacrifice ; And home indeed a home will be, Thus consecrate and shared with Thee. 1813. 104 DOMESTIC POEMS. ON TAKING LEAVE OFB********. Yes, the sigh will escape one, the tear of regret, Though the charms of the scene may be few, At resigning the dwelling where oft we have met, And exchanged the impassion'd adieu. The eye of the stranger shall wander around, His feet through each chamber shall roam, Nor heed the mute records that tapestry round To our fancy, the walls of that home — Thy home, ere the cares and the joys of another In hope's far perspective appear'd ! Long clings the fond heart to the home of a mother, The haunt to a lover endear'd. DOMESTIC POEMS. 10j Oh_, bad not that lover continued the same, When the bride left all other behind, And had not thy husband's affection a claim To compensate for all she resign'd, — Then, then, could he pardon these tears of regret, Which now unforbidden shall fall ? They would seem to reproach me that e'er we had met; They would seem that adieu to recall. Or were there, Eliza, ensepultured here, Any hopes that the future had crost, — Any vows we had broken, remembrances dear, In death or forgetful ness lost ; — Had some beloved inmate here languish'd her last, And were we now taking our leave Of the few fading tokens that spake of the past, Oh, bitterly then might we grieve. F 5 106 DOMESTIC POEMS. But now, not a spectre shall linger around, O'er its desolate walks to complain : And Change may her ploughshare drive over the ground. Where no seeds undevelop'd remain. Then bestow not a sigh more on fond retrospection ! Thrice welcome, my Love, shalt thou be To the far dearer home of a husband's affection, Who possesses no home without thee. That ishome, whether beech-woodsin loveliness shade it, And tempt us at evening to roam, Or the smoke and the din of the city invade it, — Where centres the heart, that is home. Oh ! the time will arrive when each place we have known Shall resound with our footsteps no more. A stranger shall call our last dwelling his own, Regardless who dwelt there before. DOMESTIC POEMS. 107 And there is a home where the heart shall recover Whatever upon earth might not last. What a meeting- for Parent, and Sister, and Lover, When all parting, all fears shall be past ! 1816. BIRTHDAY VERSES. With thee, amid the wild recesses Whence dreams of Fancy date their birth, Where Nature's hand profusely dresses Her green and flowery earth ; — With thee, along the rushy mazes Our wood-hung streamlet wanders through, Where king-cups weave with gold-eyed daisies The waters' living clew ; — With thee I Ve shared the deepest pleasures That Love o'er souls refined can pour, 108 DOMESTIC POEMS. And gazed on all the richest treasures Of earth's romantic store. With thee ! O words of sense emphatic ! Spring-buds, and autumn-fall, And summer prime — hours most ecstatic, Without thee, what were all ? For I have trod the mossy border Of woods that guard that haunted stream, And watch'd all seasons in their order Ruled by the changing beam. The early wreaths that blow fantastic, Each shade and change of forest green, And shapes grotesque that breezes plastic Fix on the wintry scene : These, fraught with secret inspiration, Have held me in communion deep, DOMESTIC POEMS. 109 Till, thriird with exquisite sensation, My very heart would weep. Yet, dearer lives in my remembrance One autumn day, that briefly fled, Than all those months whose beauteous semblance Still hovers round my head. Thy presence gave the charm elysian To all that breathed around me there ; And memory of it fills the vision With hours for ever fair. Then, though exchanged the blest creation For tumult and the world's alloy, Thy presence still, in every station, Makes all my sum of joy. No fond regrets nor vagrant fancies Shall from my bosom draw a sigh, 1 10 DOMESTIC POEMS. For scenery which the soul entrances, — , while thou art by. And oh, that day, where'er its brightness On wilderness or city shine, My heart shall welcome in with lightness, My Love, while thou art mine. 1816. ABSENCE. Do I not love thee ) Yes, how well, Thou best, thou only, Love, canst tell : For other eyes have never seen How much a look of mine can mean ; Nor other lips than thine can guess How deep the feeling mine express. But thee both eyes and lips have told, Most truly, that I am not cold. DOMESTIC POEMS. 1 1 I Yet now, in absence, all tliou art, Rushes afresh upon my heart, And makes me feel that heart not yet Has ever half discharged its debt. For Memory, as to mock me, brings A crowd of half- forgotten tilings That Love before had scarcely leisure To think upon, for present pleasure; Reproaching me with virtues slighted, And deeds of kindness unrequited : While shadowy, awful, undefined, The Future rises to my mind, And as its depths my thoughts explore, I seem to feel thine absence more. Shuddering I strive to pierce its shade, By Love a very coward made ; Then turn to meet thy smile. But thou Art distant — future — shadowy now. Oh, art thou still a breathing form, Lovely, and tangible, and warm ? 112 DOMESTIC POEMS. So parted utterly we seem, As though the past were all a dream ; And thou, as if unearthly, Dearest, A hallow'd, saintly thing appearest : So long from sight and touch estranged, I almost dread to meet thee changed. Oh, say, do wayward thoughts like these, Tender regrets, wild phantasies, And vague misgivings, ever find Unbidden entrance to thy mind ? Oh, it would absence half repay, To know my spirit held such sway O'er thine, as that thou couldst not be, Nor feel thyself, apart from me. But absence cannot be repaid : Fast, fast, the fleeting moments fade, That make up life's allotted sum, Brief and uncertain all to come. DOMESTIC POEMS. 1 13 Then let us not consume apart The youth and spring-time of the heart. Enough has absence proved thy power: Return, and I will bless the hour That tells me all my fears were vain, And gives me back my home again. 1818. ON THE DEATH OF AN INFANT SON. [C.J. C. ob. Jan. 1818.] When I can trust my all with God, In trial's fearful hour, Bow all resign'd beneath his rod, And bless his sparing power, A joy springs up amid distress, A fountain in the wilderness. 114 DOMESTIC POEMS. Oh, to be brought to Jesus' feet, Though sorrows fix me there, Is still a privilege ; and sweet The energies of prayer, Though sighs and tears its language be, If Christ be nigh, and smile on me. An earthly mind, a faithless heart, He sees with pitying eye : He will not let his grace depart, But, kind severity ! He takes a hostage of our love, To draw the parents' hearts above. There stands our child before the Lord, In royal vesture drest ; A victor ere he drew the sword, Ere he had toil'd, at rest. No doubts this blessed faith bedim : We know that Jesus died for him. DOMESTIC POEMS. 115 Oh, blessed be the hand that gave ; Still blessed when it takes. Blessed be He who smites to save, Who heals the heart he breaks. Perfect and true are all his ways, Whom heaven adores, and death obeys. Jan. 1318. SONNET. [YTinchelsea, Aug. 1819.] Here rest, my Love, and let the pencil's art That arch's lightness, and the mouldering tower, In just perspective give. 'Tis now the hour When Memory's softness falls upon the heart, Like twilight on the landscape. Part by part, The imaged ruin forms beneath thy hand, Graceful and true. But wherefore at a stand ? At Time's sepulchral voice does Fancy start ? 1 16 DOMESTIC POEMS. No : tenderer thoughts rush in. Since thou wert here, How much has intervened of waking bliss ! The lover changed to husband, name more dear, And three sweet babes have shared the mother's kiss. One sweetest flower expands beneath our eyes, And two are blossoming in Paradise. TO E. R. C. THE MERRIEST OF BABES. Three things alone the world defy; Over three things it hath no power ; The rapturous joy of infancy, The love that lives in woman's eye, And faith, that gives the victory In trial's darkest hour. DOMESTIC POEMS. 1 1 7 Dear boy, the first is all thy own ! Thy careless, sinless glee I well might envy, had I known No heartfelt joy of deeper tone. Laugh on — thou shalt not laugh alone : Who but must laugh with thee ? And o'er thee bends — her kindling eye With all a mother's fondness beams — Whose smiles, amid the cares that try The man, a solid bliss supply, Above the joys of infancy, Or boyish fancy's dreams. The time will come — it must be so— The world shall cloud thy childish bliss : Yet would thy father joy to know, Dear child, thy chequer'd lot below, Should, with no heavier care or woe, Blend comforts such as his. 1 IS DOMESTIC POEMS. Should Heaven thy budding sweetness spare To distant birthdays, all too soon That mirth must yield to thoughts of care ; For thou the common lot must share. And be it so : our anxious prayer Invokes no earthly boon. God be thy portion, God thy guide, On whom thy parents* hope relies. Thine be the faith — it must be tried — By which the world may be defied : Enough, dear child, whate'er betide, To meet thee in the skies. 1820. ON THE BIRTH OF A SOX. Happy, 'mid nought but happiness, The new-made beings stood : DOMESTIC POEMS. 119 God from his throne look'd down to bless The work he saw was good, And pleased, the not yet mortals bade People the Eden he had made — With happy beings — so He will'd — Who, had not man rebelled, Should the new world with joy hare fill'd, And peaceful empire held O'er countless forms of varied life, Deathless and innocent of strife. Dear, then, had been the painless birth ; For oh, what joy to be The mother of a child of earth From taint or danger free, And add one happy being more To none but happy ones before ! Unchanged the law, how the dread curse On sinning Woman fell, 120 DOMESTIC POEMS. The pangs that mothers feel,, and worse, Their aching hearts may tell ; — In penal sorrow doom'd to bear, Frail as its parent, sorrow's heir. But is the blessing quite withdrawn r No — unto us is given A Son, a Child of Woman born, Yet Heir and Lord of Heaven, Through whom our infant race shall rise, And fill a better Paradise. O thou fond, tender, suffering one, Ev'n in thy hour of woe, Rejoice to bear another son, To toil awhile below Life's little chequer'd day, then die To put on immortality. There 's joy upon this blighted earth, For babe and mother joy ; DOMESTIC POEMS. 121 The happy days of infant mirth, The raptures of the boy : Nor can the world a bliss impart, Like that which warms a mother's heart. Is it not said, that from the Lord These precious boons descend ? The fruit of love is His reward, And love His gifts intend. His gifts are good, His laws are wise : These are not f€ blessings in disguise." J22. TO A SISTER ON HER BIRTHDAY. December! thou art old and hoar; Thy voice is rough, thy hand is cold : The blood at every closing pore Shrinks from thy touch. Yet, hoar and old G 122 DOMESTIC POEMS. Though thou appear, That form severe Seems the fresh hue of health to wear. Earth, now in Winter's fleecy dress, The kind severity shall bless That laid her forests bare. Dear Emma, what is Winter's snow. Or what, affliction's keener storm ? If the young mind with action glow, If all within the heart be warm, We '11 bravely meet The arrowy sleet, And firmly tread the iron stream. Secured beneath the frozen soil, The hopes, the joys for which we toil, Wait but the vernal beam. Whatever sign may rule our sky. As still revolves the order'd year, DOMESTIC POEMb. i is the same sun that rolls on high, Felt when unseen, in Winter near : While Goodness still., With matchless skill, T<> every month its task assigns : November pours her chilly rains, Or laughing May inspires the veins,. While Heaven around her shines. What though of dark December born, My sister! Thou shalt one day know, H :»w all the blasts that chill thy morn, The mist, the tempest, and the snow, Severely kind, Have braced thy mind, And clear'd the world's infectious air ; Preparing thee for brighter skies, The cloudless suns of Paradise : — There is no winter there. Dec. 5, 1811. g 2 [24 DOMESTIC POEMS. TO THE SAME, OX RECOVERING FROM ILLNESS. What message did the Angel bring ? For sure from Heaven he came. Sickness and Health obey their King. The God who knows thy frame. Comes there an hour with blessings fraught. But brings some duty too? Is there a sorrow, or a thought, But has some end in view ? Oh, let the sun not shine in vain, While his bright smile is lent ; Nor murmur at the blasts and rain, — They too in love are sent. DOMESTIC POEMS. 125 What message did the Angel bring, My sister, when he came, Shook sickness from his viewless wing, And weaken'd all thy frame ? Whate'er the friendly warning said, — It is to Conscience known, — Oh, let it in thy life be read, And by thy temper shewn. Welcome again to health and joy, My sister! let thy tongue Its new-strung powers in praise employ, And we will join the song. Praise Him, while youth and health are thine, Who youth and health bestows : To Him thy heart, thy life resign, In Him thy trust repose. 126 DOMESTIC POEMS. Then, when the mission'd Angel's breath Again shall lay thee low, Thou wilt not fear tlie message — death, If thus prepared to go. 1810. TO A SISTER— WITH A BIBLE. Dear Harriet, could a wish bestow, To bless thy natal day, That ease and joy the wealthy know. And all that charms the gay, A Mother's love, a Father's prayer. With trembling doubt would falter there. The world ! though nature's shuddering eye Turns from its frown the while. Oh, thank it for its enmity, Nor dare to trust its smile. DOMESTIC POEMS. J 27 Thy Parents long the fight have borne, And thou must combat, thou must mourn. They dare not wish thy youthful feet Should find a flowery way : They tremble lest an earthly sweet Should lead thy heart astray. It is a desert they have trod; Hut 'tis the only path to God. But more than riches or than mirth, My sister, here is given. This Book shall be thy friend on earth, Shall be thy guide to Heaven. This hallow'd gift, this treasure take: Oh, prize it for thy Parents' sake. Tis this their pilgrim feet has led On through this vale of tears ; 128 DOMESTIC POEMS. And on this manna they have fed. For all these wearying years. When famine in the world prevails, This cruse of comfort never fails. Oh, let this blessed gift engage- Thine ever-dwelling eye ; The rent-roll of thy heritage, And Hope's bright treasury. A Mother's love, a Father's prayer, Rest on the gift, and centre there. Dec. 22, 1810. TO LOUISA. Louise ! you wept, that morn of gladness Which made your Brother blest ; And tears of half-reproachful sadness Fell on the Bridegroom's vest : DOMESTIC POEMS. 129 Yet, pearly tears were those, to gem A Sister's bridal diadem- No words could half so well have spoken, What thus was deeply shewn By Nature's simplest, dearest token, How much was then my own ; Endearing her for whom they fell,, And Thee, for having loved so well. But now no more — nor let a Brother, Louise, regretful see, That still 'tis sorrow to another, That he should happy be. Those were, I trust, the only tears That day shall cost through coming years. Smile with us. Happy and light-hearted, We three the time will while. g 5 130 DOMESTIC POEMS. And when sometimes a season parted. Still think of us, and smile. But come to us in gloomy weather; We '11 weep, when we must weep, together. 1815. TO MRS. S. R. W. My friend, the trying hour is past. And o'er that fearful bridge at last Thy trembling steps are safely led. — O Woman ! in thy hour of dread, That fond affection might but share The ills thy gentle frame must bear ; Or, 'stead of thy mysterious doom, Might wrestle for thee with the tomb ! DOMESTIC POEMS. 131 Alas ! it must be all thine own. The separate sentence each alone Must bear ; to man, the hardier strife, The brunt of care, the toils of life, Allotted, his to fence around, To tame and reap the stubborn ground, That thine the sweetest fruits may be, And the wild desert smile for thee. But now 'tis past, the fear, the pain. My sister, hail to life again ! That voice which erst the awful word Pronounced in Eden, now is heard No more to threaten or condemn, But speaking peace from Bethlehem. Rejoice, O Nature, now that He Who form'd thee, hath exalted thee. A Child is given, a Son is born, The Wonderful ! Ah, wherefore mourn 132 - DOMESTIC POEMS. Thy painful doom, thy rending frame ? Thrice blessed is the Mother's name ; And by that title doubly dear, Thrice lovely does the Wife appear. Joy to my Friend ! The grief is past, But joy, and hope, and love shall last. Hopes, with the opening bud unfolding, Shall spring and blossom in beholding ; And oh, what notes of joy to thee, Shall be his infant melody ! While love like vernal suns shall strengthen, And every day in brightness lengthen, Giving thee back for watchful night C( An overpayment of delight." Joy to my Friend ! And thou, dear Blossom ! The first that hung upon her bosom, May choicest dews on thee descend, And Heaven thy infant sweets defend DOMESTIC POEMS. 133 From blight or blast. Oh, may'st thou live Returns of perfume sweet to give ; — Such fragrance as thy parent flowers Have long exhaled in Virtue's bowers. Live, to repay a Mother's care : Live, all that Mother's love to share : To know the worth of each caress, And pay her back in happiness ! Jan. 1314. TO MRS. TURNER, BERMUDA, WITH A COPY OF u THE ASSOCIATE MIXSTRELS/ By this, my friend, remember me, And those we both hold dear. Thy " Minstrel" friends will think of thee : When sets the day-star here, 134 DOMESTIC POEMS. Oft will they turn towards the West, And think of where his glories rest. Farewell ! And in that distant Isle, When sighs the ocean-breeze, If these wild lays may e'er beguile Thy twilight reveries, Enough ; we have no higher claim Than Friendship's unobtrusive fame. Life is an ocean wide and waste, But, 'mid the stormy deep, A few green isles by rocks embraced, In memory's sunshine sleep. There find some wandering thoughts a home, And thither Fancy loves to roam. Joys past away and friendships old Have still a name and dwelling there ; And there thy name shall be enroll'd, Till other waves thy bark shall bear DOMESTIC POEMS. 135 To climes beyond that crimson West, — The happy isles where spirits rest. Vet, ere that distant shore thou reach, Whence none have traveled ever, Its tale of mystery to teach, — Oh, ere such distance sever, May'st thou behold thy native beach Once more, and leave it never, Till angels minister for thee, In passing to eternity ! Peace be upon the ocean-deeps, And stay their tumult frantic, — Peace such as Heaven in mercy keeps, — Till o'er the wide Atlantic, Thou safely pass the rocky steeps, And gain those Isles romantic, Where Hope shall fondly rest, and dream Of thv return, till truth it seem. 136 DOMESTIC POEMS. Thou shalt return ! Till then farewell ! And oh, when on the ocean, Thy bark safe o'er the surging swell Js bound with homeward motion, If in this heart no pulse shall tell Of friendship's fond devotion, Still may its power my spirit share Above, and wait to meet thee there ! MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. THE VOICE OF THE OAK. M Tongues in trees." Shakspeakf:. ( ' e nius ! if such may chance to dwell Within the excavated bound That rudely shapes this oaken cell. And closes in its knotty round, — Genius ! with acorn chaplet crown'd, Thy hoar antiquity might well, If fraught it were with mortal sound, Of elder years a legend tell. For many a course of sun and shade, Tempest and calm, thy growth matured 140 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. And many a year its circle made, The while thy summer prime endured : To flood and flame of heaven inured, Slow centuries hast thou o'erstaid ; By stern, majestic might secured From storms that wreck or blights that fade. Thou, like a hermit sad and sage, In silence lone thy dwelling hast : Thine aspect is a living page Where times o'erflown their annals cast. For, through the watches of the past, Thou hast beheld, as age on age Dawn'd, hast beheld them setting fast, And Time on his long pilgrimage Still hurrying to the last. And thou that saw'st them wear away. Dost fail. Ev'n as the seasons glide, Thy grandeur creeps to sure decay, Amid the devastation wide. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 141 For Time thy giant strength has tried. And, sparely deek'd, thy brandies grey Hang-, like old banners, at thy side, To mark his conquering sway. Ere long, the vernal year in vain Shall seek this trembling shade of thine : Thee to infoliate, ne'er again Shall Spring her freshest garland twine. The presage of thy slow decline O'er all thy silver'd bark is plain, Inscribed in many a fatal sign Portentous of thy ruin'd reign. But sure a whisper faintly broke, Startling the twilight air ! Was it the Spirit of the Oak, Or Fancy haunting there, With seeming voice r — Again it spoke ! Xor may rash mortal dare 142 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. Silence the echoes it awoke, Or bid its tongue forbear. " Child of the dust ! to being- sprung- Long since these boughs with age were bent, Thy useless lay is idly sung, Thy breath in vain conjecture spent. What though with ancient pomp I wear The spoil of years for ever flown : What though in dryad lore I bear The memory of things unknown : Thee little it imports to hear, How, o'er the waning orb of Time, Fleet ages dawn and disappear, Revolving in their course sublime. The voice of years would tire to tell What desolating waste has been, What generations rose and fell Since erst these aged limbs were green. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 143 For swift as o'er the changing skies Sunshine and winter whirlwinds sweep, The mortal race to being rise. And rest them in their slumber deep. Some in the early bud are reft, And some in blossom immature: Of those to summer ripeness left, How few till Nature's fall endure ! For countless are the forms of fate That lurk in silent ambushment, That term so brief to antedate, To quench the flame so quickly spent. Oh, seek not in the dust of years The fragments strew'd by man's decay : Enough in every hour appears, To tell that all things wear away. Even while the curious search is gone In quest of hosts and legions fled, Thy own brief term is hasting on, To join the phalanx of the dead. 144 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS For it is not the rushing- flight Of seasons soaring to the sun ; And it is not the wasted might Of ages, when their march is done : It is the sand that hourly keeps Its silent ebb from day to day, Which plunders, while it slowly creeps, The golden hoard of life away. The winds in destined courses fly, Though secret be their course, and dark : The sunbeam ceases not on high, Although no shade the dial mark. How long soe'er the measure given To bound thy moments fugitive, These shatter'd boughs, though rent and riven, The narrow confines shall o'erlive. Thou, blending in thy compass small, Impending age with infant birth, Ere many seasons pass, must fall, And mingle with thy parent earth. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 145 Yet, though the feeble frame that moulds Thy substance, all decaying be, That frame of fragile dust enfolds The germ of immortality. Spirit of origin sublime, Age is maturing strength to thee ; Death thy best heritage, and Time The portal of eternity/' Voice of the Oak ! whate'er thou be, Of wild and visionary race, That calFst such things to memory, As no light fancy should efface ; Still may thy warning hold a place Within my heart, nor pass away. Till latest time's faint shadow trace The dawning of celestial clay ! 1^10. 14ff MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. SONNET I. ec Two voices are there." From the inmost breast, Its seat oracular, the one proceeds, Prompting the high-born soul to worthy deeds, And rousing Fancy from inglorious rest. The other from above, Heaven's high behest In still small accents speaks ; which he who heeds, Is wise, for sure the path where Duty leads, Though dark, is safe ; though rugged, yet the best. Nor would I at the call of Pleasure dare Resist that voice, but rather wait resign'd, Perform my daily task with duteous care, And quench the proud aspirings of my mind ; Till happier days arrive, when, blithe and free, My soul shall spread her wings in joyful liberty- 1841. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 147 SOXXET II. It is a false theology that says, There is no bliss on earth, although the name May seem to mock the worldling's baffled aim, Who for his scanty mess of pottage pays His all, his birthright. There are pleasant ways Of love and peace to him whose end is right, — Pastures aye green, and streams of calm delight. On which the heav'ns pour down their living rays. Some happy ones there are, blest far above Fortune's spoil'd heirs, who, in the quiet round Of duty, in the energies of love, And hope, and prayer, and in the eternal course Of Nature, healthful joy's perennial source, A sober certainty of bliss have found. 1813. H '2 148 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. SONNET III. A rich and flowery slope ! its woodland bound Climbing the sky behind us, and before Towers the white crag precipitous, of yore The lover's resting-place. All, all around Is beauty, while the everlasting sound Of ocean conies upon the placid ear. Far stretching on our right, its waves appear Like fields of grosser ether, where abound White-winged barks that catch upon their breast Th' alternate sun and shadow. O, e'en now, For shade of passing cloud, while here we rest, Groupe fit for poet, on this sultry brow, For the slow-trickling coolness of her waters, Courting the tiniest of the Naiad's daughter-. Hastings, 181.0. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 149 SONNET IV. There's beauty, motion, music in the stream, And these are sweet; but sweeter are the flowers That bathe therein : they live, and in the beam Of morn unfold, closing- when evening lowers, And seem to feel the sunshine and the showers : — Yet only seem ; and therefore sweeter still, The insect joying in his conscious powers Of flight or sport, taking his little fill Of happiness, ephemeral type of ours. Yet mind's ethereal spark is wanting there, And therefore sweeter are those chubby faces Peeping through yonder gate, in which one traces The dawn of soul, — speaking of mother's care, And hope, and love — in which the heart can share. 150 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. SONNET V. IN REPLY TO SOME LINES FROM A LADY. " Unknown, yet well remember'd !" Such the fame The Poet sighs for in his loftiest mood ; — To be by strangers loved, to have a name, When he is not, among the fair and good. Me other hopes possess : Lady, I would Know and be known by all within the sphere Of happy being, — held by millions dear, Nor find one stranger 'mid the multitude; Meeting them all with love intense and pure As here but One may claim, while still the heart Shall with that One, my being's better part, Be closest knit. If this, my friend, be sure, Though here we never meet, it matters not. And yet, though still unknown, I would not be forgot. 1823. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 151 SONNET VI. TO A FRIEND SUFFERING UNDER CALUMNY. u Tis from the Lord/' the humbled monarch cried, u E'en let him curse." And so he kiss'd the rod, O'erlook'd the injurer, and bow'd to God. O majesty of meekness, which defied The impotence of tongues, and calm relied On Him who judgeth righteously ! u From men Who are thy sword,"— so pray'd the sufferer then — " From evil tongues, thy scourge, and men of pride, O Lord, deliver me \" Yet, who can tell, But those who have endured, how keen the pain That Slander's fangs, tongues set on fire of hell, And venom'd whispers that inflict a stain, Can cause the innocent man ? But oh, 'tis great, Meekly to suffer wrong, and feel it causeless hate. 1823. 152 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. TO AN EOLIAN HARP, HEARD AT NIGHT. It was a chorus of the winds that stole Its silence from the night, and seem'd to play A momentary dirge— as if the soul Of Harmony had died and passed away. Now to the air it gave a solemn peal, And on the hearing in sad concord hung : Anon in trembling distance did it steal, Till not one tone of faint vibration rung. Again ! it breathes in fitful murmuring, Now querulous and low, now full and clear; Borne on the midnight gale's mysterious wing, Like angel echoes from a distant sphere. O wizard Harp ! strange power is thine, And more than music thou canst give, Stirring those chords of magic twine, So sweet, so fugitive. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 153 Thy tones, not on the ear they dwell, They sink not on the mournful air ; But inly to the heart they swell, And wake an echo there. Of friends away they seem to sing, And make the hours of absence dear ; The shades of forms beloved they bring, And draw the distant near. O wizard Harp ! such power enthralling, No art melodious could inspire ; No wing of winds in murmurs falling, So sweetly tune thy wire. It is the spell that Fancy weaves, Which gives thy charm to thee : It is the sigh that Memory heaves, Makes all thy melody. 1811. H 5 154 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. SPRING : IN FOUR SONNETS. I. There is a stir abroad in earth and sky. The busy clouds, now huddling*, now dispersing, Seem with the windy messengers conversing. The landscape is alive : the shadows fly, Coursed o'er the uplands by the hunter breeze. The shifting lights are colour to the eye, Clothing with warmth the sober scenery, The russet corn-lands and the crisp, bare trees. A dotting scarce perceptible, thrown out In tints of livelier brown, on hedge and bough, Gives mystic signs. A spirit is about, Felt through all Nature's veins ; and all things now, Swelling with vernal hope, are ready quite, Waiting His word, who said, Let there be light. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 155 II. Timely, though late, the pomp of Spring draws on : Their flowery carpets are the meads preparing : The woods, as yet some wintry tatters wearing, Now haste their liveries of green to don. The banks blush violets, while the primrose wan Thrusts her meek head from forth the trodden leaves Of forest path : with them the cowslip weaves Her golden pendents. Thickly now upon The dressy hedge-rows snowy blossoms stand, Of sloe and cherry; for the speckled boughs Have burst at once, as by enchanter's wand, Into rich network : green, where late the plough's Fresh trace appear'd, the fields and every thing. Hark ! from his airy tower the lark proclaims the Spring. III. What merry companies of blue-bells dance Beneath the underwood ! To meet the Spring, 156 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. The Earth has caught Heaven's tender colouring", As if reflecting* back the blue expanse Seen through the beech-wood's gauzy canopy. I tread on flowers ; flowers meet my every glance : It is the scene, the season of romance, The very " bridal of the earth and sky." Even the Naiad binds her hair with flowers, In honour of the May : the very weeds That love to dip in that wild stream of ours, Strive to look gay amid the verdant reeds. Now nought in concert with the stream is heard, Save the impassion' d cooing" of that lonely bird. IV. Still I must tell of Spring*, for every sense Drinks in the balmy season -, every day, The pageant varies its magnificence : In place of gaudy Apple, blooms the May ; The Elm's green blossoms shed, the Chestnut's gay Aspiring plumes of white and crimson rise. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. \a7 Endless the rich and fanciful array. () glorious types of that lost Paradise Where all was beauteous change without decay ! Fair Spring, with all thy sweets, and songs of mirth, And touching beauty, all too quickly o'er, Thou savourest of heav'ii more than of earth ; Brief pledge of richer blessings yet in store, Fulness of joy, pleasures for evermore. Chenies, 1823. EVENING SKETCH. Now o'er yon arched steep the sun His golden way hath slowly won, And, curtain'd in the crimson West . Descended to his nightly rest. 158 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. Not wholly has the sunlight faded : The far perspective still reveals The track that bore his fervid wheels. Through the air, half bright, half shaded, Still does a waning lustre play, Loitering like a dream of day. Lightly in the firmament The moon her crystal circlet shapes ; And while, in shadowy vapour spent, Day's lingering beam escapes, As the last fainting streak declines, With clearer, brighter radiance shines, And burnishes her coronet, On Twilight's misty brow to set. The stream, in drowsy murmur creeping, Seems on its pebbled channel sleeping; Save where the impetuous torrent throws Its weight of ever-falling snows, MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 159 That from the imperishable source Precipitate their headlong* course, Sprinkle the flood with silvery spray, And in the current melt away. Now in a glassy sheet it glides ; Now in some Na^ad grotto hides; Awhile the ivied hollow slakes, Then from its dark concealment breaks, And flowery marsh and meadow laves With all its labyrinth of waves. Foaming, now, it rushes by ; Now it slumbers silently. Athwart those mazes serpentine The lonely angler sweeps his line ; And stooping low, in airy ring, The swallow dips her taper wing. Now every hue and form retires, And in uncertain gloom expires. 160 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. For lurking Darkness hastes to fling Her shade o'er Nature's colouring. The woods in lofty grandeur towering, Seem woven with the twilight shade : O'er mossy mount and dell embowering, They stretch their lea f v colonnade, And tissued with the arching sky, Inweave a solemn canopy. How silent is the gloom ! How deep The shades that softly close ! It is the hour of Nature's sleep ; It is the world's repose* MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 1 ti I TO THE NIGHTINGALE. Ah me ! ah me ! the nightingale's sweet lot ! A sweet existence that lamenteth not." jEschylus. Agamemnon. O hare Sir Nightingale, what love-sick bard, Keeping in vain his nightly guard, Did first mistake for notes of kindred sadness Thy song of love and gladness ? That song of compass and of power, Which startling midnight's sober hour, The owls and bats, with jealous hate. Those birds of night legitimate, Resent as far too light and free, And savouring much of revelry. Thou sad ! whose heart such love discloses ! Thou, spring's gay courtier ! Thou, the rose's 162 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. Fond paramour in foreign bowers — Though, in this Christian land of ours, Thou dost so sweetly preach, in sooth, Of nuptial bliss and wedded truth, In notes that seem to tell its blisses In set-to-music kisses. Thy trill, and jug, and gurgling murmur, Now changed to accents louder, firmer, Like cuckoo-call; now higher still, In lark-like strain or whistle shrill, Responsi\ r e to thy lady-mate ; (For who but she the voice can own, Which doth so sweetly iterate That same wild, touching monotone?) Then, mellow'd down, an under-straiu, Like birdish laughter, as again The summons comes, a sweet soprana From thy most fond sultana ; — O wondrous bird ! thy varied measure, The very soul of pleasure, MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 163 Who but an unblest lover could Have fancied set in minor mood? Who but the votary of folly Have call'd it melancholy? To me that song- denotes no less Than mirth and inborn happiness,, That dreams the peaceful night away In living o'er the joys of day. To me it a long tale unravels Of airy voyages, Persian travels, Gay pranks in summer's fairest bowers, And broken hearts among the flowers; And then of England's landscape mild, Spring's virgin beauties undented, Her violet-banks, her blue-bell glades, Her daisied meads, her greenwood shades, The hedge-rows where the may is blooming, With tenderest scent the air perfuming, 1 64 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. The stream through richest pastures winding. And tender corn, — of these reminding, It seems to speak of all to me In vocal poetry. And but that mortal men must sleep, Pleased I my station here could keep The live-long night, a listening* to thy tale. But, ever-wakeful nightingale, When dost thou suspend thy numbers, And yield to quiet slumbers ? The lark, beyond his usual hours, Contending with thee from the sky, Seems exerting all his powers, Singing of corn, and thou of flowers — Thou beneath, and he on high, A fugue of wondrous melody. Thou 'It sing him down, and he so quiet Under the wheat, in lowly nest, MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 165 Will marvel at thy tuneful riot, Breaking his gentle partner's rest. But when his matin-bell he springs At earliest dawn, untired thy skill, While his loud orisons he sings, He '11 hear thee at thy vespers still. But thine is merry chanting, wakeful one, There in thy sylvan dormitory. Oh, didst thou sing alone, I could believe the tender story, Which makes thy sweet nocturnal ditty. The tale of grief and pity. Nor could I thus have staid content To list thy touching merriment, And watch the soften'd landscape fade Into the lifelessness of shade. Till thought assumes a graver tone, Had / been doom'd to sing alone 1 66 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. Yes, there is something in thy notes of gladness, To strike the sad with deeper sadness ; As merry-pealing bells will borrow, To Sorrow's ear, the tones of sorrow. But thou, sweet bird, art near thy mate, And mine ev'n now for me doth wait; And therefore, when the landscape fades, And stars come brightly through the shades, And sheep are penn'd, and hinds go sleep, And lovers sigh, and mourners weep, I love to hear thy shout and call, The sort of general communing Among thy fellow-songsters all, As though they were for concert tuning, Till each has fix'd upon his tree, And the woods ring with minstrelsy. 1 love, yet not alone, to listen, Where through the leaves stars peep and glisten, While a soft hum the waters keep, As 'twere the breath of Nature's sleep ; MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 16/ Till, warn'd by some far distant chime, Of the forgotten flight of Time, We homeward haste, nor sad, nor merry, But, thanks to thee, heart-happy — very; And wondering much how birds should guess, And by their songs express, Feelings so much their powers above, As mutual joy and love. SUMMER: IN FOUR S O X V E T s. I. SUMMER is come ; he with the eye of flame And lordly brow, whence, in his angry mood, Flash the blue lightnings : he is come to claim His bride, the gentle Spring, whom late he woa'd 168 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. With softest airs. See how his fervid breath Has caird the roses up on her chaste cheek ! And now to him the sceptre she with meek And tender smile resigns. Her woodland wreath Is faded, but the garden's gay parterre Is rich with gorgeous hues ; and glorious things Haunt the cool stream, and nutter in the air, Resplendent forms : the flowers have taken wings. They do not die — there 's nothing in Creation, That dies; succession all and wondrous transmigra- tion. II. Now day survives the sun. The pale grey skies A sort of dull and dubious lustre keep, As with their own light shining. Nature lies Slumbering, and gazing on me in her sleep. So still, so mute, with nVd and soul-less eyes. The sun is set, yet not a star is seen : Distinct the landscape, save where intervene MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 169 The creeping mists that from the dark stream rise ; Now spread into a sea with islets broken, And woodland points, now poised on the thin air: In the black west the clouds a storm betoken, And all things seem a spectral gloom to wear. The cautious bat resents the lingering light, And the long-folded sheep wonder it is not night. III. Believe, the whole creation does not slumber When night's dread noon the shadowy zenith sways. Then, swarming on th' enthusiast's watchful gaze, Come forms of mirth and beauty without number, — Distinct aerial forms, unknown to day's More fervid glance, afloat in dusky maze, While toils of sleep all mortal senses cumber. They hold do sympathy with sunny hours, Wearing night's hues of tissued grey and umber: — " Things put forth by the moon*," ami ontheflowers * Deut. xxxiii. 14. 170 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. Nourish'd that she gives birth to. These no light Endure save hers, or what the glow-worm showers. All wondrous tokens of His sovereign might, Whose word ordain'd the moon to rule the night. IV. TO THE GLOW-WORM. Thou fairy flame of wildly beaming light ! When Nature's tints in one unvaried hue Of misty shadow fade, I love to view Thine emerald blaze that gems the robe of Night. What means the tiny beacon ? Say they right, Who deem it kindled for some winged mate, Like that fond light (to liken small with great) Which o'er the Hellespont did erst invite Th' heroic lover to his perilous visit ? Or, like a watch-fire, is it for defence — MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 171 To keep aloof each insect foe? Or is it Of any other purpose to the wearer,, That mail of flame? Or does it warmth dispense? Or are there fays, and thou their lantern-bearer ? SONG. How lightly, fleetly glide away The hours that bring no sorrow ! How softly melts the summer day Into the bright to-morrow ! So, mirror'd in the quiet stream, The self-same objects smile, While motionless the waters seem, — So sweetly they beguile The charmed eye ; yet, never sleep, Still stealing to the mighty deep. I 2 172 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. Flow on, flow on, my quiet hours : I will not chide your fleetness, So long as the unwithering flowers Of Love exhale their sweetness ; While, still unchanged, the imaged scene To Time's calm current gives Its beauty, and the unfading green Upon its border lives. When changed the scene, when fade those flowers, Then faster, faster speed, my hours! Flow on, and bear me to that clime Where the free spirit ranges Beyond the niggard laws of time, Its chances and its changes; Where not a sigh for pleasures past The present shall alloy, Nor ev'n a shade of fear o'ercast The never-palling joy ; Nor age suspend th' unfaltering song, Nor ev'n eternity seem long. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 1/3 AUTUMN: IN FOUR S O X X E T S. I. A glorious day ! The village is afield: Her pillow'd lace no thrifty housewife weaves, Nor platters sit beneath the flowery eaves. The golden fields an ample harvest yield; And every hand that can a sickle wield Is busy now. Some stoop to bind the sheaves, While to the o'erburden'd waggon one upheaves The load, among its streamers half eonceal'd. We heard the ticking of the lonely clock Plain through each open door — all was so still. For, busily dispersed, near every shock Their hands witli trailing ears the urchins fill. Where all is clear'd, small birds securely flock, While full on lingering day the moon shines from the hill. ] 74 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. II. Now that the flowers have faded, 'tis the turn Of leaves to flaunt in all their gayest dyes. 'Tis Autumn's gala : every dryad vies In decking out her bower. How richly burn The gorgeous masses in the amber skies, Where to the West, the valley, with its stream, Is shut with woods that drink the setting beam ! There by its crimson foliage one descries The cherry, thrown out by the auburn shades Of beech, with russet oak, and hoary sallow, And greenest ash, bearing its golden keys, With here and there wych-elm of paler yellow. How gracefully the waning season fades! So Nature's every dress and every look can please. III. There is, I think, no sunshine like the sky Of those mild, breezy, cloudless Autumn days, MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 1 75 Which tempt once more abroad the butterfly To search for lingering flowers; when the green sprays Of ash, now loosen'd, drop on him who strays Through woodland paths, while the light yellow leaves Of fading trees come dancing down all ways, Tike winged things; and oft the stream receives Full many a tiny voyager, whiiTd along Amid its eddies; — when the gossamer spreads O'er the fresh clods her trembling silvery threads; And Robin, thinly screen'd, his sweetest song- Pours forth, as if, triumphant o'er the scene, He said, Spring will return, and all again be green. IV. Spring, Summer, Autumn! Priestesses that hold Alternate watch at Nature's altar! Deep And full of mystery the course ye keep, In hidden sympathy. First, chastely cold, J 76 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. Thou, Vestal Spring, most gently dost unfold The oracles of Nature, and from sleep Enchanted, bid her infant beauties peep. Thou, Summer, dost inscribe in living gold The fullness of each promise sibylline, And mak'st in part the bright fruition thine, Murmuring soft music from her leafy fane : Till Autumn's stores reveal in corn and wine The meaning shut in every bud and grain. Then comes the solemn pause which calls Spring back again. SONG. 'Twas not when early flowers were springing. When skies were sheen, And wheat was green, And birds of love were singing, That first I lov'd thee, or that thou Didst first the tender claim allow. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 177 For when the silent woods had faded From green to yellow, When fields were fallow, And the changed skies o'ershaded, My love might then have shared decay, Or pass'd with summer's songs away. 'Twas winter: cares and clouds were round me, Instead of flowers And sunny hours, When Love unguarded found me. 'Mid wintry scenes my passion grew, And wintry cares have proved it true. Dear are the hours of summer weather, When all is bright, And hearts are light, And Love and Nature joy together. But stars from night their lustre borrow, And hearts are closer twined by sorrow. l 5 176 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. LOVE, HOPE, AND FANCY. " Sister ! what rosy innocent Is on thy bosom sleeping? Oh, who such lovely charge has lent To Fancy's lonely keeping?" Fancy was bending o'er the child, Enwrapt in pensive musing. " Ah ! is it thou ?" she said, and smiled, A blush her charms suffusing. " But tell me, Hope, to this lone glen What leads thy footstep daring? What news from the abodes of men, And whither art repairing?" — MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 1/9 " O Sister, tired with fruitless chase Of shadows still receding, I come to seek a resting-place : And see ! my feet are bleeding. " Oh, I am come in search of rest, Counsel and aid to borrow, And to a sister's faithful breast Confide my secret sorrow. " The youth for whom each blushing flower In varied wreath I braided, Ungrateful, owns no more my power, For, ah ! their bloom is faded. " To him my sweetest lays I sung, When oft the world had grieved him : No longer now can charm my toijgue ; He tells me I've deceived him 180 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. " But, Fancy, if thy lyre were lent, And cestus, to my keeping — But say, what rosy innocent Within thine arms is sleeping? " How still the little slumberer lies, Sweet dreams his rest beguiling ! I wish he would unclose his eyes, And gaze upon me smiling. " One kiss !" — " Nay/' Fancy cried ; <( refrain, Lest you the urchin waken, And then he '11 spread his wings again, And ne'er can be o'ertaken. u I found him, tired with insect chase, Beneath a rose-tree lying : All faded was his cherub face ; So pale, I thought him dying. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 1 s I u I held him to my pitying breast, For could I then but take him ? I sang* the innocent to rest, And, Hope, thou must not wake him." " I will not : cease thy vain alarm. Ohe kiss — he will not feel it — One kiss the slumberer will not harm, And, Fancy, I must steal it." He wakes, he wakes ! he spreads his wings ; And while for flight preparing, Alas ! see how the dart he flings The breast of Hope is tearing. 'Twas Love ! Too late the truth she found. And is he then departed ? None but the hand that dealt the wound, Can heal the broken-hearted. 182 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. SONG. Hope, away ! Why, th} r meteor-flame pursuing, Should I rush to my undoing? Why Love's embers still renewing, Busy fay, Wouldst thou with vain dreams deceive me, And of calm content bereave me ? Faithless are thy smiles — then leave me. Hope, away ! Oh, depart ! All was peace within my breast : With the dream of Fancy blest, Love was hush'd in infant rest. By thy art, MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. I 83 The cup of sweet delirious pain Was mingled : then what wishes vain, Restless passions fired my brain, And swell'd my heart ! Yet, how sweet The Siren music to my ear ! Is it death indeed to hear ? Oh, once more the sounds so dear, Hope, repeat. — Hasten, bind me to the mast ! Urge the lingering- vessel past, Lest the charmer's song at last Forbid retreat. Hope, farewell ! No more, no more thy melting strain Can reach my ear; and Love in vain Lights her bright watch-star. See! the main. With angry swell, 184 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. Heaves my poor shattered bark. I go, While darkness frowns and tempests blow, Undaunted — whither? Morn shall shew. Hope, farewell ! 181C. SONG. Woman ! dear Woman ! in whose name Wife, Sister, Mother meet : Thine is the heart by earliest claim, And thine its latest beat. In thee the angel virtues shine; To thee an angers form is given : Then be an angel's office thine, And lead the soul to heaven. From thee we draw our infant strength ; Thou art our childhood's friend; MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 185 And when the man unfolds at length, On thee his hopes depend. For round the heart thy power has spun A thousand dear mysterious ties. Then take the heart thy charms have won, And nurse it for the skies. SONG. O give me back the flower I brought From shades beloved by Thee : Its leaves, with nameless fancies fraught, Breathe fragrant memory. No, keep it — it has bloom'd its hour; Nor can I bear to see, In dying languor, ev'n the flower That lives the type of thee. 186 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. SONG. spare me not — for I can bear To meet the sternness of thine eye ; And, if I meet affection there, Can well endure its scrutiny. 1 fear it not : within my mind Whatever lurking* error live, That fault alone thou canst not find, Which only thou couldst ne'er forgive. Yes; spare me not. I would not be Blindly beloved, but fully tried ; From every lighter failing free, That might alarm or wound thy pride. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 87 Yet, still believe, if e'er I seem Absent or dull while thou art nigh, Ev'n then it is of thee I dream, For thee, in deep abstraction, sigh. H others, in that dreaming mood, My idle thoughts appear to share, I *m all thine own in solitude, And find my sweetest converse there. SOXG. Throw, Father Time, thy hour-glass by ! Can that tell how the minutes fly? I smile to see thy wither'd hand Mete out the moments sand by sand, As if thou couldst, with tyrant power, Fix the brief limits of an hour; — 188 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. As if those sands that ebb away, Hours, minutes, seconds, form'd a day. Oh, not by measure, but by weight, Thy favours, Time, we estimate. Feeling's and thoughts, and joys and fears — *Tis these make up our days and years : These to each winged fugitive Vitality and impulse give. The plastic mind, by secret spell, Framed within Feeling's inmost cell, Shrinks or dilates the elfin shapes, And, while the fleeting now escapes, As joy or grief the scene engages, Turns days to hours, or hours to ages ; Bids these to creep, and those to fly. — Throw, Father Time, thy hour-glass by. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 1 E SONG. FROM THE PORTUGUESE OF DIOGO BERNARDES. Se quando vos perdi, minha esperar^a, A memoria perdera juntamente— With hopes once fondly cherish'd, Now quench'd in keen regret, Had all remembrance perish'd, Oh, could I but forget — Forget the thoughts that haunt me, The joy that might not last, The present should not daunt me, Though all with woe o'ercast. But Love, in whom I trusted, That treacherous bosom-guest, 190 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. When I, with life disgusted, Court apathy for rest, — Still mocks me with the vision Of happy days that were, To darken the transition, To keep alive despair. In barbarous succession He bids past joys appear ; Recals the faint impression Of raptures bought too dear. This to the broken-hearted The keenest anguish gives : 'Tis not that Hope's departed, But Memory, Memory lives. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 191 OX THE BIRTH OF F. R. C*. DEABESt! Thyself comprised before All my fond heart desired or needed. The love that to my bride I bore, Could not, I deem'd, be well exceeded. But thou art now a happy mother, And we are dearer to each other. We married only to be one, Nor wish'd, Love, for this little stranger. Trembling, my bliss but just begun, Mv heart foreboded pain and danger. But Mercy heard the mutual prayer, And our dear babe is smiling there. * This poem was designed to be given among the Domestic Poems; but a copy could not at the time be recovered. 192 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. And thou art spared — to him — to me ! To him who feels thy warm caressing, Oh, what a mother ! What will be His debt of love for such a blessing ! Spared ! O may Heaven my heart forgive That sh udder' d at the alternative. Away the thought ! Joy ! Dearest, joy ! We twain did not require this other : But thou art happier for the Boy, And thou art dearer as his Mother : And happy parents shall we be, If he loves us as I love thee. Nov. 26, 1815. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 193 MEMORY OF EDWARD POWELL, ESQ. [Ob. Oct. 10, 1823. JEt. 86.] Well done, thou faithful servant ! Of thy Lord Partake the joy — inherit thy reward. Oh, there is mercy — and that mercy, all Are saved by — for the vilest who shall call On Him who to redeem the lost was sent ; Nor less than Heaven awaits the penitent. The least among the saints to bliss shall rise ; The tardiest convert enter Paradise : But there are thrones and crowns of joy on high, And martyr-wreaths, and palms of victory, An entrance more abundant, joys that bloom With richer hues, and bliss more vast — for whom ? K 194 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. Not the renown'd on earth, the rich, the great, The eloquent, the gifted. These await, If saved, the general heaven. But from the dust How sweetly smells the memory of the Just ! Give not the Christian crowd that sacred name : 'Tis rare Fidelity's exalted claim. 'Tis his who Duty's path unswerving trod ; In much or little, faithful to his God : He whom the wretched and the poor knew best ; Whom, when the ear his footstep heard, it blest ; To whom the eye, with age or sorrow dim, Gave witness, and whose works shall follow him : Who silently his Saviour's steps pursued ; Whose creed was love, whose life was gratitude. Quietly active, calmly ardent, kind, Yet firm of purpose, resolute of mind ; Unchill'd by age, cheerful in loneliest hours Of widow'd solitude ; with failing powers, MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 195 Still happy, — happier as he near'd the goal, And the receding - world forsook his soul ; Vet patient to the last ; — so lived, so died, One whom the world ne'er heard of in its pride. But 'tis a spectacle that angels love. Those holy ones who bear the saint above, Who watch his steps, and wait upon his prayer, See in this fallen world no sight more fair, Than such a Christian hoary-ripe for bliss, — Than the calm sunset of a life like this. THE END. LONDON : PRINTED BY THOMAS DAVISON, WHIT^FRI ARS.